Water line break found after 29 hours

Parts of Logan County were without water for almost a day and a half this week after a break in a main line occurred Sunday morning south of Russellville.

Those affected were customers of the South Logan Water District, specifically in and around the Russellville and Olmstead areas.

Crews worked around the clock from when the first calls came in around Sunday morning until the break was found around 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

“The leak itself was in the middle of a cornfield about a half mile south of the hospital,” said Cody Kirby, operator for South Logan Water District. “Everybody was working all hours with no sleep until we found it. It was hard because we were all just kinda bumfuzzled because we have so many big lines and big pullers in that area.”

Kirby said the leak was finally found through what he called “old school” methods.

“We had an issue trying to isolate where it was coming from, so we used put flow meters on 431 and had to go through and isolate every line,” he said.

The topography of the land where the leak occurred made it impossible to see without getting out into the middle of the cornfield.

“There was a little bit of what I’d call a crater in the cornfield,” Kirby said. “But it was about 40-foot into the cornfield and the water was flowing away from the road and back into the ground. It was never visible from the road or in the ditchline.”

The line that was broken was an 8-inch water main, which carried some 700 gallons per minute.

“There’s no telling what caused it,” Kirby said. “It could have just been over time, or back in the winter it might have gotten a small crack from the cold weather that just now made the line break. But when it did break – it completely blew out.”

Once the broken pipe was found, the repair took a total of about three hours.

In all, South Logan Water lost well over 1 million gallons of water, which it will have to pay the Logan Todd Region Water Commission for.

“It’s just like if a customer has a water break on their end, they are responsible for that water,” said Denise Gunderson of South Logan Water. “And we are a customer of Logan Todd.”

Kirby said that even though many families and businesses were affected by the outage, most customers were very understanding.

“On South Logan’s behalf, we are very appreciative of the good attitudes and patience that people had,” he said. “There is a lot of people that could have been pretty rude, but everybody was very understanding. They had seen us out for two days, there was even customers willing to come out and help. Everyone was really nice, and we want to thank people for that.”

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