Big Spring Officials Confronting Old Problem: Fixing Leaky Water Lines

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A decades old problem is resurfacing across the City of Big Spring this week: leaks in water lines. The latest was a leak early Monday morning that forced crews to shut off water to some residents. Now, city officials are rethinking how to fix the problem, starting with the source.

"Obviously, Monday night indicated that we still need to do some more research and some more repairs," Assistant City Manager Todd Darden said. "Maybe some additional valves that will help eliminate that situation in the future."

The water is back on in Big Spring, but not before some had to go without water Sunday night and into Monday morning while city crews fixed a 12 inch leak near Goliad and 23rd. On Wednesday, the scene had been cleared of work crews. Darden told NewsWest 9 officials are left to sort out the problems of multiple water lines leaking within the last two months.

"We thought we had it fixed to where a large number of customers would not be without water, but apparently there is still some problems in that area and crews are out this week trying to address that," Darden explained.

Darden said the area near Goliad has seen six main breaks over five years. However, he said Monday's leak shows that simply replacing some lines won't solve the problem. You have to go to the Water Treatment Plant, if you're looking for real answers.

City officials said the source of many problems is a single pipe at the city's plant. The line was built in 1962, and works off of water pressure. When the plant has mechanical issues, it can cause water leaks across the city, including down on Goliad, which is about twelve blocks away from the plant.

"We feel like that's a lot of the problem is just the age of that pipe," Darden said. "We do have an in-house replacement crew. We try to plan projects that replace about five miles of pipeline a year."

Darden said a number of bond projects in Big Spring leave crews plenty busy. However, he said their city workers will continue to repair and replace lines.