Water issues in Foyil, Rural Water District No. 3

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 9/06/2013 7:03 pm Published: 9/05/2013 4:17 pm

Foyil Public Schools has cancelled classes Friday.  School was closed Thursday after a water line break was discovered in Rural Water District 3 in Rogers County.

Thousands of people still don't have running water and customers are now under a precautionary boil order.

"It's a big deal. It's as large as I've probably ever had," said Rick Stull, the district manager for Rogers County Rural Water District No. 3.

A large leak was found Thursday morning.

"The next thing you know, because of the size of the line, we've lost all the water in the towers," said Stull.

He and his workers were out overnight, trying to find the break. When the sun came up, they finally spotted it.

"We just saw the water going into one of the ponds, we just noticed the pond was much larger," he said.

He told FOX23 the break happened about 4½ feet underground, in a 10-inch PVC line.

"We don't put those in the ground anymore. We're on a lot of lime rock. It just wears on that PVC line and pretty soon, with that pressure, it just pops the line," he said.

FOX23 did some research and learned the drought really hurt the district's lines. At one point, Stull had 29 breaks in onemonth. Now the district uses poly lines for all new construction.

FOX23 went to the fire station in Foyil to find out how they'd fight a fire with no water.

FOX23 learned they have five tankers that hold 5,900 gallons of water. They're loaded and ready to go and if they need more, they could use hoses to pull water from hydrants in other districts.

The Foyil Fire Protection District called emergency management first thing Thursday morning to make sure other fire districts could help if they need it.

Cathy Bitting manages the Okie Mart.

"This is it, this is Foyil. We sold a lot of gallons of water, people are takin' home. There's been a lot of little kids that are really glad school is out, parents not so glad, but the kids are," she said.

The Foyil schools maintenance man said the day wasn't wasted.

He said it would've been much harder to paint the front steps with kids coming in and out.

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