City officials said Monday a leak in a main line to the water treatment plant has increased only marginally over the weekend and should not pose a threat to supplies before a bypass is completed in a day or so.
The bypass line is essentially complete, said Alan King, director of public works and utilities for the city. Crews are waiting for the arrival of nozzles “that put water into the treatment plant at the appropriate place.”
Those parts should arrive in time to have the bypass operating by Tuesday — Wednesday at the latest, he said.
“We’re going to have everything done so that when they arrive we can install them,” King said.
The rate has increased to three gallons per minute, King said Monday, but that level does not cause concern among officials monitoring the line.
“We’ll be working through the night like we have been,” King said. “We could have it as early as today.”
The more likely timetable for completion is Tuesday, he said. The leak was discovered last Wednesday in the 66-inch line that runs along the Arkansas River, officials have said. Water was leaking at the rate of two gallons a minute.
Officials aren’t sure yet where the leak is or what caused it, but they hope to get those answers once water is diverted to two bypass lines that will be used while the main line undergoes repairs. The water is surfacing near where the pipe transitions from one kind of material to another, King said, but they don’t know yet if that spot is the culprit.
A reduction in water use is not required at the moment, King said, and wouldn’t be needed unless the main line somehow ruptures before the second bypass is completed. The chances for that, he said, are remote.