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Water Back On In Tecumseh

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Buried deep underground on Benson Park Rd. lies a part of the Tecumseh water line that split. Buried deep underground on Benson Park Rd. lies a part of the Tecumseh water line that split.
TECUMSEH, Oklahoma -

It's been a rough past few days for Tecumseh residents upset after losing water. The city determined a water line break caused the problem.

Crews repaired it Monday afternoon, and the city said all water is back on, but many residents said that's still not the case.

Tecumseh line maintenance crews discovered the eight inch water line break after a member of the Citizen of Potawatomi Nation said they saw water flowing into their creek.

Buried deep underground on Benson Park Rd. near Highway 177 lies a part of the Tecumseh water line that split. It's the line that flows from the Tecumseh Water Treatment Plant to the rest of the city.

"It's causing our water plant to work well over its capacity to try to keep the pressure up in dripping faucets," said Tecumseh City Manager Jimmy Stokes. "And water leaks have lowered water pressure."

Stokes, a former Tecumseh Fire Chief for 23 years, got down and dirty with city line crews as they dug through chunks of mud to replace the broken line.

Stokes said the city's water pressure has been low for the last 13 days, but it's the last two days that have been the worst with no water.

The lack of pressure and water forced all Tecumseh Schools to close as well any public restrooms or water fountains.

The water woes only got worse for many Tecumseh residents not able to flush toilets or turn on sinks.

"I put the bag around my sink faucet and turned the water on and off and it doesn't even move, there's not even air coming through the lines," said Kevin Smith, lifetime Tecumseh resident. "We have to get jugs of water just to have something to drink or to cook with. We can't do any dishes or laundry or anything. We weren't prepared for this; this just happened."

Smith said they never really had good pressure to begin with, and it "was always work to get the soap off in the shower, but this no water takes the cake."

His daughter, a senior at Tecumseh High School, said she's upset she has to use hand sanitizer in place of a hot shower.

"It's nasty. I want to be able to feel clean," said Kendra Smith. "If you don't have water, you can't cook, you can't eat, so we have to go to other places like in Shawnee or with family members. And it's embarrassing to ask hey can I come over to your house to take a shower?"

Smith said she hasn't been back to school in a while after school closed several days last week due to bad weather.

"You don't know what you have until you lose it," she said. "And I wash my hands like every single time and now can't."

The Smiths plan to fill up a bunch of jugs of water at a relative's house in the country until water pressure is restored.

The city said it could take a couple of days for everyone's water pressure to be back to normal.

Tecumseh residents are asked to boil all water until further notice.

Tecumseh Public Schools Superintendent Tom Wilsie said school will be back in session Tuesday, and students will make up a snow day on President's Day.

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