Water Main Breaks:
Signs of a broken water main are water running down the street and buckled pavement. Main breaks may leave specific areas without water. Based on the size of the main pipeline break, time required to locate and mark utilities, residents may experience delays in service as crews repair breaks and restore water service.
Listed below are all the steps involved in the actual repair of a main break. These will provide clarity to understand the repair process.
Procedures to Repair Main Breaks:
- Reports are received 24 hours a day by contacting City Hall during normal business hours at 432-523-4820 or the on-call employee at 432-266-1550 or 432-556-2870; and
- An employee is dispatched to verify the address and specific location of the leak or main break; and
- Dig Test is contacted to mark the location of all near-by utilities (gas, telephone, electric, cable); and
Note: Dig Test requires 48 hours notice for non-emergency repairs. For emergency repairs that could be life-threatening, repairs are started immediately but with caution. Other emergency repairs that do not pose a life-threatening situation, crews must wait 4 hours to allow other utilities to mark their lines.
A standard repair takes four to five hours to complete. If it is determined that more time will be required to complete the repair, City Hall will be updated with this status during normal business hours.
Note: Repair crews may hang doorhangers to notify residents who will be without water. In addition, the city may utilize HyperReach to notify affected blocks.
Don't assume your neighbor will make the call. The Water Department would rather receive multiple reports about a suspected problem than no call at all.
You can report water main breaks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, by calling our 24-hour customer service number at (432) 266-1550.
Leaks are responsible for about 14 percent of wasted water. If you experience an unusually high water bill, you may have a leak. The City of Andrews is responsible for maintaining the service line leading to your home or business's meter and the meter itself. The property owner is responsible for the service line behind the meter and the rest of the property's plumbing.
All leaks are a priority; however, leaks posing a potential threat to health and safety are handled as emergencies and receive priority response. Other leaks are repaired based on size of leak or water loss and some customers may experience longer response times. Main breaks have priority over leaks.
About 75 percent of indoor water use is in the bathroom. We all know that we can save about two gallons of water by turning off the water while brushing our teeth, but check out some other water wise tips that include retrofitting.
- Install a low-flow shower head that limits the flow to less than three gallons per minute. This can reduce water use in the shower by up to 50 percent and is the single most effective conservation step.
- Taking a shower instead of a bath will usually save water. Limiting showering time will also help. A 10-minute shower with a conventional shower head uses about 55 gallons of water. If you take baths rather than showers, don't fill the tub to the top. Reduce the water level by one or two inches from what you have been using.
- If you have a toilet manufactured prior to the 1980's, it probably uses 5 to 7 gallons per flush without a displacement device. Putting a displacement device in your toilet tank can save up to 20 percent of the water being used. Place two one-quart plastic bottles weighted with stones and filled with water into the toilet tank. This reduces the amount of water in the tank and still leaves enough for flushing. Do not use bricks because they crumble and can cause damage to the fixture. Displacement devices do not work as well in newer toilets that use 3.5 gallons or less per flush.
- Pool water in the sink for shaving instead of letting the water run.
- Install faucet aerators to cut water consumption.
Studies have shown that dripping and leaking faucets and toilets account for as much as 14 percent of indoor water use. A slow leaking faucet can use up to 170 gallons of water each day. What can you do?
- Check all water connections for leaks. To check for toilet leaks, put a few drops of dye in the tank. Your fixture needs adjustment or repair if the dye appears in the bowl after about 15 minutes. Leaky toilets can usually be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper.
- Check for leaks in the underground pipe by turning off all faucets. Then look at your water meter. If it’s running, you probably have a leak.
- Does your sink, bathtub or kitchen faucet have a slow drip? These can usually be repaired by replacing the washer inside or valve or the rubber O-ring.
11 percent of indoor water use is in the kitchen. When washing or cleaning fruit and vegetables, fill the sink with water and rinse, rather than allowing water to run.
14 percent of indoor water use is contributed to laundry. An average washing machine uses 32 to 59 gallons per cycle. When doing laundry, wash only when you have a full load.
When replacing washing machines or dryers, opt for energy conserving models which will yield both water and energy savings.
Asst. Director of Public Works