Freshly-energized water line gets flow back in business

After another frustrating stretch for residents and workers alike, water once again began flowing to scores of Gladewater homes Wednesday afternoon.
Related boil water notices were subsequently lifted, the inciting pressure problem has been identified and, for now, the issue’s corrected – interim City Manager Charlie Smith and his team know there will be more surprises in store as they work with contractors on an ongoing upgrade of the community’s outdated water and sewer infrastructure.
“It’s like a bad Christmas,” Smith said Friday, breathing a bit easier now that local faucets are functioning again: “When you open that present, you don’t know what the heck you’re going to find.”
Smith’s grateful to Miller Construction workers and City of Gladewater employees for their dogged work to diagnose the water cut-off that hit neighborhoods north and near the intersection of Gay and Hendricks Tuesday into Wednesday. The installation of a new 10-inch line instead of an antiquated main finally yielded results April 17.
“After it was all said and done, the main problem that it ended up being,” Smith explained, “is there wasn’t enough pressure with the old line to push water on around. When they initiated that new line, we had all the pressure we needed.
“It was nobody’s fault. It happened like that… When they turned that other line on, it made a world of difference.”
One positive development during the difficult days was the discovery of another out-of-sight, out-of-mind water fixture. In many instances, Gladewater’s buried lines are a mystery until they’re unearthed for repairs or replacement.
“This was one of those typical deals,” Smith added: “They found a valve under all that asphalt that nobody knew was there. It started shooting water straight down pipes. That helped everybody out on 2685. It’s a loop now.
“That was just sheer luck.”
Importantly, these recent changes to the water infrastructure will absolutely be logged, and the city’s doubling down on its commitment to push information out soonest via social media and news updates.
“Everything that we’re doing now is going to go to ETCOG and they’re going to do the GIS for us,” Smith said, getting maps up-to-date after years and decades of inadequate recordkeeping.

UPDATED: There’s another project in the works in the same area, rescheduled to April 24.
“All of the line connections will be done on Wednesday so there will be only one day of interruptions,” Smith noted April 22. “Several crews will be on site for the installation process in order to limit the amount of time for water loss. Thank you for your patience.”

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