Water repair

DERRICK JAMES | Staff photo

Employees from the City of McAlester and contractors work to fix a water line break Friday in the Green Meadows neighborhood.

The city of McAlester continued with water line repairs on Friday afternoon, while also keeping requests for water conservation in place as water towers began refilling.

However, that does not mean all of the water issues have been resolved.

"We are not making progress on refilling the towers," said city of McAlester Public Information Officer and Grant Writer Stephanie Giacomo around 2 p.m. Friday.

Although water service has been restored to much of the city by that time, water pressure remained low at a number of sites.

"We are asking people to continue to conserve water and if they don't have water to close their faucets," Giacomo said. She said the open faucets could cause problems with trying to bring up the pressure.

Conservation measures are vital and the city continues to ask its water customers to refrain from filling tubs, using washing machines and other activities that use lots of water, Giacomo said.

Also, a voluntary boil order for the city of McAlester and rural water districts served by the city of McAlester remained in place Friday afternoon and was expected to remain in place until laboratory testing proves it's safe to remove it, Giacomo said.

Water will not be collected for lab testing until all the water breaks have been repaired, she said.

The McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management said rural water districts that get their water from the city of McAlester that includes Rural Water Districts Nos. 5,6,7,9 and 16.

Meanwhile, four contractors continued working with city crews to try to find and repair all the water line breaks in the city. Giacomo said at least four leaks had been repaired on Friday as crews continued finding and repairing others.She said there were more than 20 leaks throughout the city — and those are the ones of which repair crews are aware.

Assistant City Manager Toni Ervin said the large water line break in a 12-inch linefor which crews had been searching was found in the Sandy Creek area around 3 p.m. on Thursday.

"We isolated it; that's when the water towers started filling back up," she said.

However, as soon as the water towers began filing up, people started using water again, which slowed down the process of refilling them — resulting in the city's continued pleas to conserve water so the tower can refill.

"It's a long process," said Ervin.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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