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City of Tulsa opening water station for residents impacted by waterline breaks

waterline break.jpg
Posted at 9:28 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 23:32:33-05

TULSA, Okla. — The city of Tulsa is opening a water station for residents whose water was shut off this week due to waterline breaks.

The water station will open starting Thursday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the River Spirit Expo. It will be open daily until further notice.

Residents will need to bring their own containers. They can enter through the south main lobby at Gate 2.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the City shut off water to 81 lines, affecting roughly 1,300 residents and 43 businesses.

One of those residents is Mark Throckmorton, who has been without water since 2:30 Wednesday morning.

“I’ve been draining water out of the hot water heater so we have water to wash and to drink and to flush the toilets," Throckmorton said.

According to the city, 35 crews (14 City crews and 21 contract crews) are in the field working to address more than 142 waterline breaks.

The city is asking residents to conserve water by:

  • Not using high water-usage appliances like your dishwasher or washing machine
  • Don’t take a bath or long shower
  • Use water only when needed like for cooking, drinking, flushing the toilet or dripping faucets to protect your pipes

READ MORE: CONSERVE WATER: Tulsa urges people to conserve water

Josh Bilby, water distribution division manager for the city of Tulsa, said doing this is vital as the reserve tanks get low, which could become a safety problem.

“It’s the main purpose of our reserves to have the fire protection available for the fire department if they have a fire they are in need of," Bilby said. "It’s our responsibility to have the water there that they need to put the fire out to keep the citizens of Tulsa safe.”

Throckmorton said he hopes his water will be on by the end of the day, but a lack of communication from the city has him unsure and frustrated. He said it needs to use something like a text notification system to let residents know what’s going on.

“We would really appreciate the city and utilities using that sort of technology instead of somebody posting a note on the door or something like that," Throckmorton said. "It’s much more timely and much more helpful.”

Crews plan to work on the repairs through the weekend. The expected rise in temperature next week could contribute to even more issues.

“Next week with the warm-up, we may see more breaks come along," Bilby said. "We hope to have most of these repaired so we can be ready for that, but again, as they come in we’re going to try to address them as quickly as we can.”

Bilby said if you spot a water main break near your house to report it to them by calling 918-596-9488.

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