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City of Tulsa has plan for water line break response

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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 2/13 5:26 pm Published: 2/13 4:32 pm

TULSA, Okla. - There have been more water line breaks in just the past week than the average for a whole month in the city of Tulsa.

FOX23 talked to crews about how they’re handling the breaks, and how they’re bracing for more.

“Is that alarming to you?” asked FOX23’s Janai Norman.

“Not necessarily, because we've had such a cold spell,” said Mike Augustine, Tulsa Water Department manager.

He showed FOX23 the breakdown of water line breaks each day so far in 2014.

In the last week, 165 businesses and more than 2,000 residents were without water while crews worked 152 breaks.

That's higher than the five-year average of 151 breaks for the entire month of January. But Augustine said it's not all that bad.

“When you look at how many are per day that's happening, it's not alarming in that stand point because we have the crews and personnel to take care of them during that period. It's when you have one day that comes in and there are 60 of them that hit the board, then that becomes a problem,” he said.

But so far, he said it's not.

And now that the number of breaks has leveled off-- there were only a few Thursday morning crews are playing catch-up on other work.

“Going back, cleaning up the break sites that have already happened, taking care of little leaks, repair hydrants, things like that,” he said.

He explained that when crews are on an emergency schedule, working lots of breaks, they sometimes put off the cleanup phase in order to more quickly repair broken lines.

While they finish cleaning up some of these sites, Augustine said, water crews will still be on their emergency schedule, so if there are a lot more breaks this weekend, they can respond quickly.

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