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City water main break repaired

February 20, 2014

Repairs were made to a water main break that was located last Thursday near the intersection of Roy Avenue and N. W. Fourth Street.  
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman
FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman
Repairs were made to a water main break that was located last Thursday near the intersection of Roy Avenue and N. W. Fourth Street.
By Norma Dittman
A water main break near the intersection of Roy Avenue and N.W. Fourth Street, in which it is estimated that 1.3 million gallons of water were lost, has been repaired.

The water loss was noticed on Monday morning, February 10th.

Butch Huerkamp, Fulda Plublic Works Superintendent said that the search for the broken main was a process of shutting gates down and checking storm drains. Eventually, a man on a snowmobile was sent out to look at tile outlets throughout the area surrounding the city. When a free-running tile was found on Murray County 2, those involved in searching for the leak knew they were getting close.

“We had an electronic leak detector that was used to locate the leak. With that much frost in the ground you just can’t find it any other way,” Huerkamp stated.

Once the leak was found, an X marked the spot and Gass Trenching was called in to begin cutting through the frozen dirt. A jetter was used to cut through the frost down to the water main more than six feet in the ground.

“That was the worst break I have seen in all the years that I’ve been working with public works. That pipe just snapped in two. There was a two-inch gas main that was right there, also. We just had to keep jetting through the frost so that we could get to the break, while being very careful not to damage that gas line,” Huerkamp said.

Huerkamp was thankful that the leak was located and repairs completed Thursday afternoon. He said that the water tower capacity measures 27 feet deep. “We were down to three feet of water in the tower. We had to do a few different things to keep the water flowing so that pipes to homes would not freeze. We didn’t need that problem, too.”

Wilma Lindquist, a Fulda resident who lives on the north side of town, said on Thursday afternoon that water to the Lindquist home was restored to full-pressure around 2 p.m. “I’m thankful that the leak was found and that the men were able to repair it so quickly,” she commented.

As for Huerkamp: He said he is ready for warmer temperatures and a break away from water main breaks. “We have had it this winter where the pipes did freeze going to the homes because of a main break. But, we’ve been able to restore water to those residents without too many problems. This winter has been a bad one for freezing water lines.”


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