College Station working on repairs for major water line break

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Crews in College Station are working to fix an underground water line after it ruptured last week. An estimated two millions gallons of water spilled into Rock Prairie Road last Wednesday after an aging pipe failed. It made Rock Prairie look more like a lake.

“It’s just an older 24 inch water line that, occasionally, you do have failures," said College Station Assistant Director of Water Services Alan Gibbs.

“We're really fortunate that we’re blessed to have excellent infrastructure here. When we have a major outage like this, it is sort of a surprise, but we are working to get it corrected," he added.

"There's a steel pipe with concrete around it and, over time, that concrete may crack as the ground moves," explained College Station Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations. She said the pipe had a slow leak the city is trying to get ahead of it.

Since the rupture, crews have had to dig more than eight feet into the ground to put in a temporary repair. The city met with contractors Thursday looking at plans for a permanent fix. Nations said that the city will replace the section of pipe with a newer one.

The section of pipe that failed is two feet in diameter. The city will be replacing that section as well as about 42 feet of the pipeline. Right now, the city has to decide on what kind of materials they want to use. Nations said they are taking a look at their infrastructure as a result of this big break.

"Anytime we have something like this happen, we'll kind of go and look at other like trouble spots that we might be watching," she said.

"We also have a regular capital improvements plan, where we try to get ahead and do some rehabilitation every year. That way we're not waiting for our infrastructure to fail," said Nations.

The city is still looking into how much the repairs will cost. Work is expected to start on Wednesday and last a day or two. The good news is water service is not expected to be impacted because it's a transmission line rather than a service line.