Shawnee, OK Water Line Break Leaves City Dry

In Shawnee, Oklahoma a water line break caused a hospital, five nursing homes, two universities, hundreds of residences and several businesses to suddenly be without water. In order to provide drinking water for the residents and local business, National Guard units from Oklahoma City and Shawnee, OK brought in 400-gallon tanks of water, Salvation Army and Red Cross personnel manned watering stations, and residents were invited to fill water jugs at the downtown Salvation Army headquarters.

The water main break occurred about 4 a.m. and was located about 15-feet underground. The break was probably caused by “age, more that anything,” said James Cole, Shawnee Public Works Director. Workers reached the water break in the 14-inch water line at the Kickapoo and Kickapoo Spur intersection, located in a well populated area, using a Thompson Pump 6-inch Sound Attenuated Open Trash SK Sewage Pump in order to divert the water from the break, and allow workers access to the broken water line. The Silent Knight® Sound Attenuated pump provided more than adequate pum

ping, and was quiet enough not to disturb the local residents and businesses by providing sound attenuation of less than 76-decibels at 50-feet.

Some of the major areas affected by the break were the Unity Hospital North Campus, Shawnee Care Center Nursing Home, Shawnee Medical Center Clinic, St. Gregory University. Rose Manor, Sunset Estates, Parkview Nursing Home and the Alterra Sterling House assisted living center were also without water, and were using limited supplies said Don Lynch, Shawnee Emergency Management Director.

During the repairs, two of the city’s four water towers reserves were depleted to provide water, to the extent of 1.5-million gallons. Much of the reserves and the existing water in the line was used and distributed to locals.

Thanks to Thompson Pump, work crews were able to repair the water break by 8 p.m. that evening. “We do have it back in service, but it may be a while before we have enough water in the system to say we are back in good shape,” said Cole.

Water department crews found two other water line breaks. Both were believed to have been associated with the main line being shut down, Cole reported. The same Thompson Pumps were used on those water line breaks, to allow access for repairs. There was nothing mentioned about replacing the old water line at this time.