Fixing Gushing Water Line 'Not A Priority' For OKC

Friday, August 5th 2011, 12:25 am
By: News 9

Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The utilities division of Oklahoma City said repairing a leaking pipe near the Moore city line just isn't a priority.

A car hit a hydrant almost a month ago and although a hose gushes out an estimated 2,000 gallons of water a day, there are no plans in place to fix it.

"Day after day it flows, at one point people put two orange cones in front of it but nothing has been done," one homeowner said.

What seems like a river to drivers infuriates homeowners. "We truly believe we are doing the right thing. We regret it and we know it looks bad. We know it irritates people when we are asking them to conserve," said Debbie Ragan, a utilities spokesperson.

Ragan tells News 9 fixing the break would suspend service for 200,000 customers for at least six hours. We asked why couldn't the city make the repairs overnight. " Well people use water at night and there is just not a good time for anybody to go without water," she said.

Ragan points out the city is pumping about 190- 195 million gallons a day, so the wasted water is a fraction of total usage.

"I think it is arrogant and I think it's a winnable battle in court if they try to ticket you, " said Matt Mann who refuses to follow the restrictions.

Residents are fined $167 for watering lawns on non-assigned days.

Ragan points out it is treated water, so homeowners can get a bucket to use it for drinking water or to water their lawns.