Breckenridge Texan

City crews stop water leak after broken pipe drains both Breckenridge water towers

City crews stop water leak after broken pipe drains both Breckenridge water towers
April 05
23:25 2023

By Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

City of Breckenridge crews shut off pressure to a broken waterline at the intersection of North Payne Street and West Fourth Street at about 8:30 tonight, Wednesday, April 5, after working on the pipe for at least six hours, according to information on the City’s Facebook page.

“Earlier when I was up here, they had two guys all the time in water up above their knees, digging out a shovel full at time, trying to get under that pipe,” Mayor Bob Sims said at the scene.

Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims, right, talks with former Public Works Director Houston Satterwhite and City of Breckenridge employees to try and identify possible locations of a cut-off valve for the waterline that was leaking Wednesday afternoon and evening. Click here to see more photos. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Both of Breckenridge’s water towers drained Wednesday as City employees struggled to stop the water gushing from the 12-inch line, Sims said. Although the towers were emptied, the water plant maintained some pressure, which enabled some homes and businesses in Breckenridge to have water, he explained. Many of the houses in the area near the leak were without water, though.

The loss of water pressure required the City to issue a Boil Water Notice for all City of Breckenridge water customers. Click here to read more about the Boil Water Notice.

The problem started in the early afternoon when a contractor working in the area hit the waterline, according to City of Breckenridge Facebook post.

Sims said the City workers tried all afternoon to find a shut-off valve for the line but couldn’t find one that stopped the water.

City workers eventually located a cut-off valve that stopped the water and were working to fix the break late tonight.

Former Public Works Director Houston Satterwhite was assisting the city crews, due to his knowledge of the city’s water system. Satterwhite resigned from the City in October, and a new public works director has not been hired yet.

The water leak is directly in front of Sidnee Martinez’s house. She said the water had flooded her yard, and she parked her car in the alley to make sure it stayed out of the water that was flowing down the street. “Luckily we need the moisture,” she said. “My grass is benefiting from it.”

The Camillo family, who also live near the busted waterline, said they first noticed water running down the street at about 11 o’clock this morning while the gas company was drilling a hole. They didn’t have any water at their house this evening.

Breckenridge Independent School District issued a notice Wednesday night, informing parents, students and staff that, although the schools will be under the Boil Water Notice, along with the rest of the city, the issue will not disrupt breakfast or lunch at the schools. The school district will have bottled water available for students and staff, but if they would like to bring their own, that will be OK.

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from the scene of the waterline break.

City of Breckenridge employees work to pump water away from the broken pipe Wednesday evening so that they could stop the flow and repair the line. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

City crews pump water down the street and away from nearby houses Wednesday evening, as they wait on a part to stop the waterflow. A shut-off valve was eventually located, and repairs were being made. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

City employees worked late into the night Wednesday to stop water from gushing from a broken pipe and then to repair the pipe. (Courtesy Photo)


Cutline, top photo: A City of Breckenridge crew, left, works to get a clamp/sleeve ready to install on the busted pipe, while others pump water from the area around the pipe. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Editor’s Note: This story was edited at 9:45 a.m. April 6, 2023, to include additional information.



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