A bypass for the main water line that sprang a leak last week is “ready to be activated” if necessary, city officials said Thursday.
The 66-inch line from Cheney Reservoir to the main water treatment plant has been leaking a couple of gallons of water a minute for more than a week now. A 24-inch bypass is already in use, said Alan King, director of public works and utilities.
Fine-tuning of special nozzles used in the treatment process is under way, King said, and the second bypass should be fully operational by Monday. Special equipment has been ordered so crews can internally inspect the damaged main line once it is shut off, he said.
“Fortunately for us, the soil is very sandy” near where the leak is, King said, so the water is being absorbed into the soil and is working its way back into the aquifer. Because the line is pressurized, he said, water is being forced out and no contamination is getting into the line.
“It’s on the raw water line that hasn’t even been treated yet” of the leak, King said.
The second bypass will become “a permanent part of the plant” so officials can use it if problems arise, he said.