Recently the city replaced 200 feet of a two-inch service line on Crittenden Drive. A service line is connected to the city's main line, which spiders out to feed customers. Thomas said the lines were is pretty bad shape and had been repaired several times. There were numerous clamps on them, which shows that the lines had been repaired over and over again.
Thomas said unfortunately the city is full of old lines like these which suffer numerous problems; however, finding the problems sometimes is like finding a needle in a haystack unless a leak is reported. He said the city is working diligently trying to find and replace these lines and that is what takes so much time and money.
“People don't realize to maintain a system as large as Russellville takes quite a lot of funding and manpower, which in turn costs money as well. We want the public to know we are out there and we are working as hard as we can to better the city's system and put their money to use,” said Thomas.
The line replaced at Crittenden was found because the leak had come to the surface. These leaks are easier because someone usually calls it in when they see water coming form the ground. Thomas said he appreciates citizens‘ reporting the leaks because it makes the city's job a little easier. “It really is a community effort,” said Thomas.
Thomas said when the ground is dry and then it rains, the lines tend to shift in the ground, which causes fracturing. Water lines are buried two feet below the frost line. Thomas said most of the lines laid now are put on bedrock. That way if the lines move it allows leeway. It is the older lines, said Thomas, that the city is seeing problems. The older lines are made of galvanized pipe but now they use CS900, which is much more reliable and has a life much longer that the older medal ones.
“It took several man hours to replace the 200 feet in Crittenden. It is a very costly project,” said Thomas.
Recently the city worked a major main break behind the Tobacco Patch business near the creek. Logan Todd Regional Water Commission (LTRWC), which sells water to Russellville, contacted the city telling them they were getting some higher hits and having to boost their pumps. Thomas said they soon received a call from a citizen noting that water was shooting up into the air beside town creek
“It took them over two hours to fix it,” said Thomas. “They even did it while it was hot, which means they didn't turn off the main. They did this so people would not lose their water while they repaired it. They climbed down into it and were drenched working onto of that pressure.”
Thomas said the city lost about 500,000 gallons of water through the leak which cost the city approximately $1,500.