Weekend Water Outage in Crockett

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter 

CROCKETT – Many residents in the city of Crockett were without water over this past weekend after a main water line burst.

Following a Crockett City Council meeting held on Monday, Jan. 22, City Administrator John Angerstein was questioned about the occurrence.

Angerstein said it was a series of unfortunate events that all came together at one time.

“It was basically a chain reaction. One, we have an older infrastructure that doesn’t adapt well with changing pressures. As the pressure increases and drops, a water hammer happens where water comes from two different directions, hits in the middle and it blew a hole in the side of the pipe,” he said.

Angerstein said the day before, city crews were in the process of repairing 14 water leaks throughout the city.

“We work on them under pressure so we don’t get into a position where we have to issue boil water advisories. As long as the water is under pressure, no contaminants can enter back into the pipe system. If you do a ‘hot fix’ where water is gushing onto the ground, we have to compensate for the loss in pressure so we bump our pumps up which creates fluctuations in pressure,” the city administrator said.

He added while one area was fixed, the pressure fluctuation would sometimes create other leaks.

As the city was attempting to fix the 14 leaks, “… water was continually dropping in our towers because we couldn’t increase the pressure enough to get the water towers full and still fix leaks at the same time. It became a snowball effect and split the pipe out on the loop.”

“We lost so much pressure all at once,” he added, “we depleted our tower which resulted in a loss of pressure so we had to open up all the hydrants, shut off valves and do damage control. Once that big leak was fixed, then we were able to fix the smaller leaks and resume the pressure. Now, our towers are full again and we are back at full capacity.”

Angerstein said the recent cold snap was a big factor in the leaks because as the ground shifted, it created several smaller leaks which slowly depleted the water towers.

Asked about the economic impact the water shutdown had created, Angerstein said it was still too early to tell but stressed his appreciation for the assistance the city received from Consolidated Water Supply Corporation and Fast Track Construction.

“They – both as good neighbors – just came in and helped us with equipment and man power. We had a business and a neighboring water district come in and help us out,” he said.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.

Photos Courtesy of Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein