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No plans to cut Tulsa's water supply, crews working to fix water line breaks

Posted at 1:11 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 10:21:10-05

TULSA, Okla. — City crews are working to repair 120 waterline breaks across Tulsa.

The City of Tulsa is increasing its crews to meet the repair demand. The city has 35 crews in total. City officials said it’s an “all hands on deck” approach with no timetable on repairs. Officials said crews need to shut off water service to some homes to repair the waterlines.

Mayor Bynum dispelled rumors the city is going to shut off the water supply citywide.

"Have heard from a number of Tulsans about a rumor going around that the City is going to shut off the water supply citywide. That is absolutely not true.

What we are doing: shutting water flow off in broken lines. We are experiencing a high number of water line breaks due to low temperatures. We have 35 crews working around the clock to repair them as quickly as they can. When a line breaks, crews will have to shut the water flow off to that line until it is fixed.

The normal practice of keeping water flowing through broken lines is not sustainable in this environment. With 120 different active water line breaks (as of tonight), too much of our water storage is being depleted by leakage."

City officials are asking everyone to conserve water and keep faucets running at a bit more than a drip. The focus remains on repairing large pipelines underneath main streets that hold the most water. And be prepared in case your water line does break and have water stored for use.

"We’re trying to get to those as quickly as we can," said Josh Bilby, utility systems operations manager for the City of Tulsa. "We try to address the ones that are causing damage or in the arterial streets that could be impacting traffic. We move those up in the list to make those a priority and get to those first.”

Officials suggest leaving your cabinets open under the sink to create airflow. They ask that you call a plumber if water takes too long to thaw in your pipes.

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