Crews Struggle to Keep Up With Water Breaks

City of Tulsa crews are working to repair yet another water main break, this time in Midtown.

We spoke with Water and Sewer Supervisor Monty Ragsdale at the latest break at E. 33rd and S. New Haven.

"We've been doing a lot of water breaks this weekend. We've got a six inch break right now inside a driveway," he said.

Crews have been stretched thin this weekend due to water main breaks all over the city due to the low temperatures.

At the time we spoke to Ragsdale, he said there were 15 breaks being worked by 11 crews. The city called in extra workers to meet the demand.

"These guys are working extremely long hours to fix these breaks. Use a lot of caution tonight as the water is going to be re-freezing on the streets. If you come up to the flashing lights and you see these crews working stay as far away as possible please," said Ragsdale. He asked Tulsa residents to be patient while they work to restore water service.

Water line breaks can take 4 - 8 hours to repair. Many of the workers have been putting in 16-hour days.

Ragsdale explained that the ground warming up as we experienced today can be just as problematic as when temperatures drop. "As it warms and thaws the ground shifts again and you get more breaks," said Ragsdale.

Water infrastructure is typically expected to last about 50 years, which many of Tulsa's water mains are approaching.

Since Friday, 50 water lines have required repair in Tulsa alone according to a press release.

Water line breaks can be reported 24 hour a day by calling 918-596-7338. Ragsdale urged residents to call if they think they see a break even if they aren't sure or think it is minor.