Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Leak in Aging Water Pipeline Forces Broken Arrow to Close Restaurants

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Earthmovers carve out a new reservoir for Broken Arrow at the site of the city's out-of-date water treatment plant in November 2012.

Restaurants in Broken Arrow were ordered to close Wednesday because of a leak in a pipeline that brings water to the city from Pryor, about 30 miles away.

The news can’t come as a complete surprise to Broken Arrow officials, like Engineering Director Kenny Schwab.

He emphasized the importance of the Pryor pipeline to StateImpact in November,  and said having the water treated and piped in couldn’t be a permanent situation.

“It’s about 30 miles to pump the water to the community. That’s our sole source. Almost 100,000 people relying on a 30 mile pipeline that was aging,” Schwab said.

StateImpact spoke with Schwab for a story about construction at Broken Arrow’s new reservoir and water treatment plant, which will at least alleviate reliance on the Pryor pipeline. It just wasn’t finished in time to mitigate the effect of this week’s leak.

The restaurant closures followed a boil-order, the Tulsa World’s Amanda Bland reports:

A precautionary boil order was issued around 7 p.m. Tuesday after crews spent much of the day repairing a leak in a 27-mile pipeline from Pryor. The damaged water main was repaired late yesterday.

City water crews were monitoring the line as water was fed through slowly to prevent additional leaks, Broken Arrow communications director Stephanie Higgins said Wednesday morning.


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