The progress of installing a new 12” water line west on Grant to provide water to the new hospital Monday caused a problem for an existing water line and subsequently caused water outages in Purcell Monday night into Tuesday morning.
Purcell Water Department crews worked on the line breach at 9th and Bonnie from 4 p.m. Monday afternoon until 3 a.m.
Water pressure began improving starting about 1 a.m. to the affected customers, Purcell City Manager Dale Bunn told The Purcell Register.
“It takes awhile to get the air out of the lines once they begin to pressure them back up,” Bunn said.
When the water company was boring under Bonnie a line was struck that wasn’t on any city water line map.
“This was a water line that wasn’t fully pressured and appears to be a line to nowhere,” Bunn said.
The line teed off in the pasture just west of 9th, Bunn said, and apparently never utilized.
A second breach of the line occurred around 10 a.m. Tuesday.
That’s when Purcell Water Department crews moved the line back and stabilized it.
That break caused problems for Purcell Elementary and Intermediate Schools where no water was available
Some students were sent home.
Mark and Jackie Suchy jumped into action and utilized their minnow transport truck to bring water to the school buildings to fill tanks so students and faculty could take bathroom breaks.
The Suchys would go to their minnow farm and fill the truck up with water and then go back to the buildings that were affected by the water outage.
Mrs. Suchy is the elementary school secretary who did double duty Tuesday.
Water was off to much of Purcell from around 10 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. city officials confirmed.
Just as water department crews were finishing up the second breach a farmer’s auger ran through a three inch line three miles west of Purcell presenting the water department with yet another challenge.
“In the old days they didn’t put in as many valves as we do now,” Bunn said. “Now we have tracer lines where you can connect an electrode and see where the line is in the ground. The old ones don’t have that.”