Customers advised to 'boil water'
Sixteen local residences got a "boil water" notice last week, after a valve broke on a Deschutes Valley Water District pipe, causing a leak under the road at Third and K streets.
"A 2-inch brass valve broke on a 2-inch pipe," said Ed Pugh, noting that it was only about 10 years old, "but that happens sometimes."
A customer called the leak in early on Oct. 29, and since it was a DVWD pipe, rather than a city of Madras pipe, a Deschutes Valley Water District crew responded.
"We isolated the break by turning off nearby valves," he explained. After locating the problem, "We excavated the leak to expose the problem. We replaced the valve."
While simultaneously flushing the system, DVWD turned the water back on and notified the 16 affected customers of a temporary "boil water" notice.
In order to ensure the safety of the water, they took samples, which were sent to a Bend lab for testing. "The next day, the samples were declared OK (safe to drink)," said Pugh, adding that they notified the 16 customers that the water was safe to drink.
A few days later, DVWD crews repaved the area of the leak. "Leaks do tend to pop up in the spring and the fall with the changing temperatures," said Pugh. "This one was unusual due to the complete shutdown and a 'boil water notice.'"
"As far as cost, leaks are a part of general maintenance," he said. "The asphalt patch was the most expensive component of the repair."
"Our crews do a great job of maintaining over 400 miles of pipe in our system. We have excellent equipment (like the vac truck) and certified personnel to keep our water safe to drink," he said.