Water restored to Checotah following line break
BY CHASE COOK World Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
CHECOTAH -- About half the city of Checotah was without water for about 12 hours after a century-old pipe burst early Wednesday.
City officials got a call of a main water pipe on the west side of town bursting about midnight Wednesday, Checotah Mayor Marvin Nichols said. Water wasn't restored until about 11:30 a.m., he said. That would have made about 1,600 people without water for the city of 3,335 people, according to the U.S. Census.
The lack of water didn’t have a large impact on the city because it was so early, but still isn't good when businesses and people get inconvenienced, Nichols said.
“Most people don’t get up until about 8 or 9 a.m.,” Nichols said. “People were calling in and asking what the deal was, some even called in and said they would be down to pay the water bill when they realized they didn’t have water.”
Repairs on the pipe didn’t begin until about 6 a.m. because workers didn’t want to hit a known gas line that was next to the burst pipe, Nichols said. Once the gas line was located and crews knew they wouldn’t hit it, work began on the pipe.
“A two to three hour delay is better than losing a man by hitting a gas line,” Nichols said. “Safety first.”
This happens in Checotah about every year because the city has old pipes, Nichols said. It’s a small town so renovating pipes only happens when they burst or when the city has the money to afford a replacement, he said.