Bixby mayor says better communication between water provider and city could have mitigated outage

BIXBY, Okla. — Bixby Mayor Brian Guthrie said Thursday better communication from Wagoner Rural Water District 4 may have prevented the water outage at Bixhoma Lake Estates that’s left dozens of residents without water.

Guthrie said on Facebook on July 10, Wagoner Rural Water District 4 opened their emergency valve at the Bixhoma Lake water storage tank to supply water into their system due to low pressure.

Sometime overnight after the valve was first opened, Wagoner RWD4 experienced a water line break on their system which created a larger amount of water being pulled from the tank. The valve remained open until July 13, and that’s when Bixby crews discovered the open valve and closed it immediately, Guthrie said.

By the time the value was closed, 285,950 gallons of water drained from the tank into the Wagoner RWD4 system, which left the tank empty, Guthrie said.

“It is alarming that RWD 4 never alerted Bixby that they would need to open their emergency valve,” Guthrie said. “No email, no phone call, nothing! Had they provided that common courtesy we could have avoided this situation altogether.”

Guthrie said the city will also be reviewing the water purchase contract between Wagoner Rural Water District 4 and the city so the situation doesn’t happen again.

Guthrie said the city is hopeful water will be restored to the residents of Bixhoma Lake Estates by Saturday. Once water is restored, customers will be under a boil water order until July 26.