Water line break, repairs lead to discolored water

Thursday, September 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla.--City residents had to deal with water that wasn't crystal clear for a time after a water line break and repairs on the north side of the city.

Some of the water taken from taps on Wednesday resembled a dark glass of tea. By Thursday, the water had cleared up.

City officials said all along the water was safe to drink.

"We test the water to make sure there are no choloforms, bacteria or chlorine residuals in it," said Assistant McAlester City Engineer Dave Medley. The tests are performed every few hours.

Medley said a 24-inch water line broke and repairs were completed about 7 p.m. Wednesday. The line is one of the main water supply lines leading from the water treatment plant to McAlester.

The line had been leaking for some time, but city officials had been waiting until they had a clear storage tank at the water treatment plant to be able to make repairs. The tank had to be repaired twice before Wednesday's work could begin.

Medley said they thought there was enough water in the tanks to meet demands while repairs were made but demand outstripped the supply.

"With everybody irrigating their yards, they weren't able to keep up with it," Medley said. As the available water in the tanks got lower, then began refilling, mineral deposits were stirred up and got into the water supply.