Crews working on water main break in Rifle |

Crews working on water main break in Rifle

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – Rifle water customers may notice a slight reduction in water pressure and could see disruptions in service in the next 10 days, as crews repair a leak in a water main in north Rifle.

According to city officials, City of Rifle Water Department crews noticed water bubbling out of the soil at a location near Government Creek, in north Rifle, on Sept. 24. Further investigation revealed the source of water was an 18-inch water main that provides drinking water from the city’s largest storage tank to most of the city.

According to City manager John Hier, residents shouldn’t notice much change in water service except for possible low pressure and brief disruptions when water will have to be shut off during the repair.

“During the repair phase there would be some disruption of water services,” Hier said. “There may be a situation where some residents may encounter low water pressure.”

The water main remains in service and continues to leak because the city must keep the line in operation to provide drinking water to residents.

Repair costs are estimated to be between $50,000 and $70,000, according to a press release from the city.

Water Department and Public Works crews have already excavated the pipeline and determined that the leak is in the water main where it intersects Government Creek. The water main is encased in a larger, 24-inch casing where it crosses the creek, and the leak is suspected to be under the creek bed, within the casing, creating a very involved repair process, according to Hier.

“Whenever you get into a creek crossing you run into major problems,” Hier said.

The water main is also in close proximity to other utilities, including a major wastewater collection line and a high pressure natural gas pipeline, according to city officials.

To repair the main, workers will need to build a parallel water main next to the existing one, excavate under the creek bed and replace approximately 400 feet of water main pipe. The new water main and valves will be connected to the older water main at locations to the east and west, away from the creek bed.

It may be several days before the new water main pipe and supplies arrive. Parts and supplies to implement the repair have already been ordered and the leak is expected to be fixed within the next 10 days.

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