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City crews repaired a water line valve leak near St. John Hospital Broken Arrow at the intersection of North Elm Place and West Mission Street over the holidays.
A resident notified the Utilities Department of the leak, and upon further investigation, the crew determined the problem to be a leaking valve. When the valve gave way, the repair became an emergency that needed immediate repair.
With the proximity to the hospital, the crew worked all day to isolate the leak to make sure the hospital did not have to have its water shut off.
“We notified Care First Pharmacy on the morning of Dec. 30th that their water would be shut-off for approximately four hours,” said Utilities Water Supervisor Travis Schemonia.
The deeply buried water line took longer than expected to dig out. The crew placed a shoring box in the trench after exposing the valve. They next removed all of the bolts believing the line to be dead but discovered it was back-fed from a line to the west that they had believed to be offline.
The crew spent several hours searching for valves and looking at maps trying to locate the proper valve to turn off without turning off the water to the hospital. After searching and not finding the valves, they reluctantly thought they would have to turn off service to the hospital.
Construction Supervisor Tom Kimbrough called Utilities Inspector Joe Vardasco, who had been an inspector on that particular line, and he remembered a valve that was not previously on the maps.
After turning off the elusive valve, the crew cut the pipe, removed the valve and replaced the flange gasket. The workers then used a repair clamp to connect the pipes. The six men on the crew worked more than 24 hours over several days, fixing the leak and cleaning up the area after the repair.