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Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. (American Press)

Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. (American Press)

Sulphur officials evaluating water main break

Last Modified: Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:28 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Sulphur officials are evaluating the water main break that had a widespread area of the city without service and taking preventative measures, according to the mayor.

Mayor Chris Duncan said the break was caused by a concrete drainage pipe being installed over the waterline at an angle several years ago.

“The top piece of the concrete pipe broke, causing it to fall on top of the waterline,” he said. “Over time, with road vibrations and vibrations from the waterline, the drainage pipe was rubbing against the waterline, and it caused it to crack and rupture.”

Duncan said the concrete drainage pipe will be replaced with a PVC pipe, so that if it were to collapse again in the future, similar damage would not occur.

City officials held meetings to establish why the break could not be isolated and why valves weren’t where they were documented to be located on a map, he said.

“A lot of infrastructure is old, and some of the valves are not where we thought they were located, and some just aren’t working properly when we try to cut them off,” Duncan said. “We had already started many months ago looking at the valves across the city. We just hadn’t gotten to the area where we had the main break, but we are working to make sure that a break doesn’t affect as large of an area as what was affected (Wednesday.)”

Duncan said waterlines can’t be prevented from blowing out, but the city can work to prevent such a large area from being affected by a water main break.

Residents and businesses from Hoffpauir Road to Interstate 10 were affected by Wednesday’s water main break, which took crews approximately six hours to fix and restore services.

Duncan said crews will be continuing to work at the site of the break into the early part of next week to install a new drainage pipe.

Posted By: Call It Like It Is On: 2/8/2013

Title: Always Problems with Water Lines in Sulphur

I have lived in Sulphur all my life, and during my lifetime there have always been problems with water lines in Sulphur; all of which subsequently contribute to the astronomical amount of patchwork to roads following shoddy repairs. This is most indicative of a very substandard preventive maintenance program, poor quality assurance, amd most certainly a lack of management oversight of employees. There is a long standing joke regarding Sulphur Public Works employess. How many workers does it take to fix a broken water line in Sulphur? Nine. One to Supervise; One to sit in the truck with the Supervisor; One to run the backhoe; One to watch the bachoe dig; and Five to lean on shovels as they stand and watch.
In conlcusion, it's probably safe to say that it was one of the nine who were responsible for verifying location of valves and updating plans. Guess no one realized how busy those people were.

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