Early Heat Wave To Blame For Recent Tulsa Water Line Breaks

Thursday, May 31st 2018, 6:01 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

City crews are working around the clock to fix more than a dozen water main breaks in Tulsa.

They said lines are breaking earlier than usual this year.

The road is still blocked near Pine and Utica while crews work to fix a break in that area. The City said the hotter temperatures are to blame for the early spike in breaks.

City crews are also hard at work near 11th Street and Highway 169, carefully digging around phone and gas lines to get to the problem spots.

"Prior to yesterday, we weren't really having anything going on," said Eric Parker with the Water and Sewer Department.

Parker said the crack formed because of too much pressure going through the system. And, he said that's because of a high demand for water during hotter days, which are here early this year.

"We went from a wet, kinda no spring, it was cold, and all of a sudden we're going 80s and 90s," Parker said.

Just on Wednesday, the City saw 15 water main breaks, compared to seven last week.

Crews are working, in the heat, on the break near Pine and Utica after driving through a road that looked more like a river to start working on it Thursday morning.

5/31/2018 Related Story: Tulsa Water Line Break Closes Pine Street

Parker said drivers are used to seeing crews work throughout the city in July or August, not May.

And this is a familiar sight to Don Lutz who lives near 21st and Sheridan. He said water flows out of the same spot in his driveway just about every other year.

"We're just kinda used to it by now," he said.

Lutz expects crews will be busy working to repair bigger intersections before getting around to his driveway.

"We're patient. We'll pull through. We have a lot of blessings," he said.

The City said each water main break costs anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000 to fix.