Rise In Pipe Problems Spur Earthquake Concerns

Tuesday, July 8th 2014, 12:08 am
By: News 9

A metro water-well drilling company is seeing a significant increase in broken pipes and concerns over water-well collapses. Some people wonder whether earthquakes are to blame.

For Joseph Mohmed, a damaged water-well because of an earthquake, has him worried as a homeowner.

"I've got cracks in my house, trim separating, cracked sheet rock, cabinets separating from the walls," said Mohmed. "That just piles on top of it."

Mohmed said his father, who lives in northeast Oklahoma City also has a water well. It could cost them up to $6,000 dollars to replace it if it were severely damaged by an earthquake.

"It causes something to seep into it, cause pipes to crack, does damage to the mechanics," said Mohmed.

The owner of Ted Jenks Water Well Services out of Edmond, Lowell Jenks said, he hasn't seen anything quite like this in decades.

"What we're actually seeing is more problems with the lines, water lines, going to the house, within the house, and we are having a few issues with wells producing a little sand," said Jenks. "I would say we see probably 25 to 30-percent increase in broken pipes after all these earthquakes started, so it is a fairly significant increase.

Jenks said the water-well bore itself has typically not been damaged.

"It's just a matter of the right fault line, the right shaking and so forth. We have not seen it, but that does not mean it could not happen," said Jenks.

Jenks said you also have to take into consideration the heat and extremely dry conditions. That could also cause a water well collapse.