‘It’s pretty irregular’: Bountiful hit by multiple water leaks

Feb 6, 2024, 6:39 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2024, 8:31 am

BOUNTIFUL — Some people living in Bountiful went without running water for more than a day and a half.

A post on the city’s Facebook page shared the location of each of the three separate leaks.

City crews said an unusual number of leaks kept them busy.

“It’s pretty irregular to have this many at one time,” said Kraig Christensen, water department director. “They’re generally spread out over the course of multiple days when things like this happen.”

He said some of the pipes are ductile iron, which is still installed in Bountiful, but he said the quality has changed over the years. He said some of the pipe with issue was installed in the 1970s.

“Some of them are just the degradation of the pipe, and then some of them can’t deal with pressure issues, a little fluctuation of pressure, so that can cause mainline breaks,” Christensen said.

The worst mainline break was on Canyon Estates Drive. Christensen and neighbors said the leak was reported Monday around 7 a.m., and it wasn’t fixed until Tuesday afternoon. It kept nearly an entire street without water for more than 24 hours.

Workers ‘diligently working’ to get the problem fixed

“They’ve been diligently working, making repairs, but because of the condition of the pipe embedded in sand, the repairs that have been made have worked, but the pipe further away from repairs have failed,” Christensen said. “We’ve had to shut down again and go further with our repairs.”

He said some of the workers were on the scene for more than 24 hours straight trying to repair the pipe.

“That is unusual for the crews to be out that long,” Christensen said. “We’ve actually put about 40 feet of new pipe in.”

A lot of the pipe they removed was covered in rust.

“The rust that builds up on the outside of ductile iron pipe can actually eat into the pipe, and the rust spots go down into it and so when there is a pressure fluctuation, it can blow out those spots that don’t have as much material,” he explained.

Bountiful resident Wes Dickinson said he woke up around 5 a.m. Tuesday to brown water coming from his sink and bathtub. His home is near another leak site that was repaired a few hours after it was reported.

“Looked in the toilet, bunch of brown water there, turn the faucet to the tub on, let it fill up, tons of brown water, a lot of sediment, like buildup coming out too,” he said. “Pretty nasty stuff.”

Not the first time

He said this isn’t the first time he has encountered the brown water.

“It happened to us about three or four months ago, same thing,” Dickinson said. “We were about to start laundry, and I think our neighbor came and warned us before we started our laundry that her entire load of laundry just got ruined. Real kind of red-looking rust substance.”

Christensen explained the water may be discolored temporarily.

“When we charge up, it picks up the little bits of minerals and deposits that are on the inside of the pipe,” he said. “In those situations, the cold side of your tub is the best way to get that cleaned out of your system inside your home.”

The Bountiful Water Department said it will give away free Red Out to residents with stained clothing or appliances.

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‘It’s pretty irregular’: Bountiful hit by multiple water leaks