Carbon County has setback getting water to hundreds of homes

Apr 18, 2018, 9:16 PM | Updated: Apr 19, 2018, 12:48 pm

CARBONVILLE, Utah – The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve had a “bit of a setback” in returning running water to hundreds of homes in the county following Sunday’s water line break.

They released the following statement:

We’ve had a bit of a setback. There are large quantities of air trapped in the main line that we are finding difficult to remove. This prevents water from flowing over the high points in the system. Basically, we need to get the water line to burp.

Our crews are still out and will remain working on getting the flow moving as quickly as possible.

You will notice when water gets to your home that there will be a lot of air for the first while. Also, the water may appear cloudy or milky. The water is and will be safe to drink, but air dissolves into the water creating the cloudiness or milky appearance. If you set a glass of water out for a few minutes, you will see it clear by itself. The best course of action is to fill a pitcher and put it in the refrigerator. When you want a drink, the water will be clear.

There are about 200 homes in Carbon County without water the past few days.

The water line break happened near the golf course in Price, just off Highway 6. Crews have been trying to fix it since Sunday.

“It just wasn’t a good situation,” said Jeff Richens, who is the district manager for the Price River Water Improvement District. “We noticed we were treating a lot of water and then pushing it down the line. That usually means a leak. We found a leak in one location. Fixed it. We’re still losing water. We found another leak in another location.”

They fixed the second leak, too, only to find a third leak on Sunday under nearly 35 feet of dirt near the golf course.

“We quickly determined it was beyond our resources, so we got a contractor to help us out, as well as the county,” Richens said.

Crews aren’t sure exactly what caused the break.

They say it could have been a rock banging against the metal pipe from the vibration of the nearby highway. Or maybe the high-pressure water was eating away at an imperfection in the pipe.

The pipe itself is only 41 years old, which isn’t that old when talking about pipes and infrastructure.

“Our first concern is to make sure people have water. Whatever it’s going to take,” Richens said.

At first, roughly 10,000 people were affected with either low water pressure or no water at all.

“When you have about half the county affected, it becomes a real big issue,” said Jason Needles, who is the Carbon County Emergency Management Director. “It doesn’t seem like a big thing, but when you think of your life and how you would do without water, it turns your life upside down.”

Crews began running some water through the pipe Wednesday afternoon, and had hoped to have water back to the homes by Wednesday night.

Jaime Cowdell is one of the residents without water since Sunday.

“No running water here,” Cowdell said Wednesday, as she opened her faucets in her bathroom and then kitchen. “No water.”

Fortunately, her parents live just a few minutes away from her Carbonville home.

“We go over there and shower at night. We’ve had dinners to go to every night this week, so we haven’t had to cook dinner, but the laundry is at the tip top,” she said with a giggle.

Cowdell said her family is managing and credits the crews for working around the clock to try and bring the water back to homes.

“They’re doing an amazing job,” she said. “We are just fine. I would much rather go without water than power.”

That’s just another thing many of us take for granted until it’s gone.

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Carbon County has setback getting water to hundreds of homes