DEWEY, Okla. - The water is back on in Dewey after the whole town lost service Wednesday night as Dewey public works crews worked to replace a faulty fire hydrant.
According to Dewey City Manager Kevin Trease, at around 10 p.m. crews were about to shut down water to a section of the city to install the new hydrant and a new 12-inch valve on the water system —the entire scope of the work to be a two to three hour long process — when they received word of a water break on the other side of town.
As crews waited for utility markers to flag utility lines near the break site near the intersection of 10 th Street and Shawnee Avenue, they decided to shut the water off to where they planned to install the new hydrant and valve.
“The water wasn't turning off fast enough so we ended up having to shut down water to the whole town,” Trease told 2NEWS.
In the time it took utilities personnel to mark utilities at the water main break site so crews could dig and then repair the line, crews finished installing the new hydrant and valve.
That project completed, crews then repaired earlier reported line break, where a 4-inch line blew a hole the size of a golfball, said Trease.
After crews made the repairs, water service returned to residents at around 2:30 a.m.
“It was best to have the water off at midnight then during the first day of school,” said Trease, acknowledging Thursday as the first day of classes for Dewey Public Schools. “Most people didn't realize (water) was off.”
Dewey Superintendent David Wilkins, newly hired last spring to start this summer, was one of the few who did notice the water was off.
He told 2NEWS when he got up late Wednesday night, turned on a faucet and saw no water, it caused him to worry.
“Oh no. Not on our first day,” he recounted thinking.
He spent much of the night up with a technician managing the air conditioners in classrooms belonging to the district's middle and high school building, whose air conditioning relied on a water-cooled unit. Without water service, the air conditioning was struggling.
Later when water service returned and the unit's water refilled, his worries passed.
Thursday morning, the air conditioning was working fine in the building.
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