City of Tulsa crews repairing water line breaks daily

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Updated: 2/06 5:24 pm Published: 2/06 4:56 pm

The city of Tulsa is now averaging more than five water main breaks every day since Dec. 1.

The cold weather not only causes the breaks, but makes the job of fixing them a more daunting task.

For workers with the Tulsa Water and Sewer Department, the cold season is also the busy season.

“Right now, they're working anywhere from 10 to 16 hours a day, and they're doing that basically six days a week right now," said Joel Taber, a field supervisor.

This is bone-rattling work in bone-chilling temperatures. But repairing an 8-inch line on Union near 51st Street is nothing compared to recent work on one three times that size.

“I think it was 7 degrees that day, and they were stabbing a corp into that live, and I mean, water was shooting 100 feet into the air. So … you've gotta be pretty tough to do that," said Taber.

But sometimes the toughest part is dealing with the rest of us.

“I wish people would slow down whenever they come by these guys," he said.

Especially with all the ice that usually surrounds a work site like this, after all, the reason they're there is because it's leaking water.

Then you have the angry drivers who have to detour yelling at them as well as home and business owners unhappy with having their water shut off.

“Sometimes we inconvenience them. And it's not on purpose, it's just that we've gotta do a job," he said.

And while it may not be the most comfortable job, as one worker told FOX23, somebody has to step up and do it.

So until spring they'll just try to knock them out as fast as they can. These workers also have problems with the cold affecting their equipment sometimes, too.

Business owners in the area near 51st and Union in west Tulsa had to close their doors while crews repaired a water line break near them.
The city of Tulsa said they plan to spend $12 million each of the next five years replacing water lines.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

parrey9 - 2/7/2014 11:51 AM
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