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Walsenburg water crews labor on Labor Day leak

WALSENBURG — Some residential Walsenburg water customers experienced either no water or diminished water pressure for about two hours Monday during the late morning until early afternoon hours due to a two inch break in the 12 inch AC line located west and south of the Black Diamond subdivision. Walsenburg City Administrator David Johnston said Tuesday the leak began Saturday and continued Sunday until it became a larger issue on Monday. City crews inspected the leak site late Sunday afternoon, but due to difficult terrain and safety concerns, it was decided not to open the ground until daylight on Monday. “City crews were successful in creating a temporary patch on the water line west of town by installing a repair clamp on the line. Later this week, that repair clamp will be replaced with a shut-off valve that may enhance future repairs,” Johnston said in a press release Monday. “Because of work done earlier in the year, the city was able to isolate this leak without affecting the hospital’s (Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center) water supply,” Johnston added. The AC line moves treated water from the treatment plant north to the Capitol Hill ground storage tank. At one point before the repair, water from the leak was shooting as much as twenty-five feet into the air. “Analysis will be done later in the next

few days to estimate the water loss as a result of this misfortune,” Johnston said. City crews isolated the break and drained the broken pipe prior to making repairs. Certain high-altitude residences in the north part of Walsenburg (south of the hogback) were affected by the incident. Water service to the entire city was restored by early afternoon on Labor Day. Because of induction of air into the water lines, residents may have noticed their water appears to be “cloudy” when drawn from the tap. After a few seconds the “cloudiness” should go away. The cloudy appearance is indicative of suspended air in the water and in no way creates a health hazard, Johnston reported Monday. Johnston said between 20 and 25 calls were received through Huerfano County Emergency dispatch concerning the water issue early in the week.