Water Line Break Forces Sudan Residents to go Without Water for Nearly 48 Hours - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/19/05

Water Line Break Forces Sudan Residents to go Without Water for Nearly 48 Hours

One thousand residents in the city of Sudan can finally wash off 36 hours worth of dirt. Sudan, located 53 miles northwest of Lubbock, has been without water since Monday night when a water line sprung a major leak during routine maintenance. The water is now back on for good, but not before the city was drenched with major problems.

From Monday night to Wednesday, you could take a pit stop in Sudan, you just couldn't wash your hands or flush the toilet.

Director of Public Works, Richard Salazar said, "You don't realize until it's gone, just the small little things you use everyday."

Salazar has been working nonstop to repair the system since a fire hydrant first sprung a leak Monday night. The hydrant, now in pieces, shot out 500 gallons of water a minute. Salazar's only choice was to shut the system down.

"We definitely don't like to shut the water down, and hopefully everybody understands that," said Salazar.

Crews dug a hole, repaired the water line, and when they powered back up Monday night they discovered eight more leaks. Once again, the water was shut off.

Crews worked 27 hours straight and orange cones across the city show where they made more repairs.

Meanwhile, "I couldn't cook, I couldn't do anything without water, we couldn't take a shower," said Sudan resident, Irma Mendez.

School was cancelled and residents like adjusted. Mendez was forced to go to the store to buy drinking water, however, so many people flocked to the stores to buy drinking water, Allsup's ran out. They had to call seven other stores to stock their shelves.

"They ran out of water at the store and here so we had to go to Littlefield to get water," said Mendez.

Salazar said 50 year old water lines paired with too much air in the system likely caused the leaks.

Everything in Sudan is now flowing smoothly, and running water now sounds like music. "We got water, we got water," cried Mendez, when she discovered the water was back on. "My little boy said, 'Mom, mom, the waters on, the water's on!"

Since 1998, crews have replaced 50% of the older water lines. Sudan is working on ways to fund the rest of the project so this won't happen again. In the meantime, the state requires you to boil the water before you drink it until three consecutive "good" water samples come back. That process will be complete by early next week.

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