Bixby residents angry after days without water

BIXBY, Okla. — A community in Bixby is angry after having no water since Wednesday and the community is rallying round to help each other.

The City of Bixby said the Bixhoma system had significant unauthorized use, which affected the storage tanks.

Kurt Claxton lives in the Lake Bixhoma estates and he can’t take a shower.

“The laundry’s piled up, the dishes piled up, I can’t take a shower, you have to fill buckets of water to pour down the toilet. To fill those we have neighbors that have livestock.”

Bryan Korf is getting water from his pool to flush his toilet.

“It’s non potable water that we’re getting, so technically we can’t wash dishes. So a lot of the stuff we’re using, we’re having to go back to. We’re camping in essence in our homes.”

Korf said his water pressure dropped last Wednesday night and by the time he’d filled his bath tub, the water had stopped running.

He also said the city set up supply stations but he isn’t happy.

“It’s extremely frustrating, we just feel like we’ve been overlooked and there’s no plan in place to help us at this point,” Korf said.

The City said they initiated emergency response measures and have switched transmission lines to maximize water flow and pressure to the area.

They also said they are working to get trapped air out of the line.

Even though the city set up an emergency potable water supply station, people said they’re struggling.

The neighborhood is at the top of a hill and the hydrant to fill up is at the bottom of the hill.

There have been city tanks at the top of the hill but they haven’t been stationed in the neighborhood.

People in the neighborhood said they have to fill up tanks and buckets and carry them uphill to their houses.

The community has rallied round getting donations of bottled water and containers with lids to help carry the water around.

Shawna and Craig Poindexter helped to bring in 27-hundred gallon tanks themselves to be stationed in the neighborhood, but Craig said it’s only a temporary solution.

“We have to go back to work, I can’t sit outside our property and man the tanks and load up 5 gallon buckets or coolers full of water for people who are retired, or they need assistance mobility wise to be able to get the water in and out of their cars to get it to their houses.”

“I can’t man this 24 hours a day, and that’s going to create a real problem because that’s not our job, that’s no one’s job out here, but as a community we’re trying to rally together to help everyone as much as possible,” said Craig.

The Pointdexters also have a flower farm to worry about.

They’ve been filling up an 80 gallon horse trough on the back of a truck and are having to fill 5 gallon buckets at a time to water the plants.

“I’m extremely worried about it, I have a lot of time and money and hard work invested in this, and I just I don’t want to see it dry up,” said Shawna.

The City of Bixby have now delivered restrooms and air conditioned shower trailers for the community but Claxton said he’s not happy with the City.

“It’s been shocking, I think the city should be totally embarrassed for the lack of response, they may be aware of things, but I don’t think they really understand the total gravity of what’s going on up here,” said Claxton.

When FOX23 reached out to the city for comment, they replied with this press release:

Crews have completed efforts to isolate the Mingo transmission line, beginning at 101st and Mingo, to maximize flow to the Mingo Booster Pump. In addition, crews have successfully purged air from the Bixhoma Lake Road water main on several occasions over the weekend. However, with lower-than-normal supply pressures related to weather conditions and usage, sufficient pressures to begin filling the Bixhoma Lake Storage Tank have not been generated.

Based on system data collected last week and over the weekend, Staff is pursuing additional pressure mitigation alternatives. Staff will be coordinating with Tulsa to determine if there are any possible measures that could add enough system pressure to begin Tank filling. In addition, Staff will be wrapping up efforts to either acquire or fabricate a potable water pump system - depending on the which alternative will provide the shortest deployment time. This interim system is in advance of the permanent booster pump station that is on order.

Crews will continue to provide potable water tank to residents and back-feed the Bixhoma Lake Road main trailer in an effort to keep the line purged of air. In the event that of a fire emergency, the Bixby Fire Department has a Mutual Aid agreements with Liberty, Haskell and Stone Bluff to provide fire department tankers in the event of an emergency assistance requested.

The full release can be read here.