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In the News July 20, 2005 – Water geyser result of shifting service line

Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 3:07 pm

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In the News July 20, 2005 – Water geyser result of shifting service line


It was quite a sight with a lot of fanfare, but the problem itself was minor. A shifting water line resulted in a geyser spraying water in the downtown area last Thursday, soaking businesses and apartments and leaving Louisiana city workers scrambling for a solution.


“A contractor shifted a service and it caused the whole thing,” said Kelly Henderson, city superintendent.


A “service” is a service line which is the water line that runs from the main pump to a residence or business. By shifting it, it allowed water to break through and shoot about 150 feet in the air.


Business owners in the downtown area stopped what they were doing to view the event. Some even took pictures of it. Others, like Will Crow, were soaked by the time the geyser was under control.


“It looked like an oil well,” said Crow.


Workers first shut off the water to the line to get a handle on the situation. Once that was accomplished it was a simple matter of determining what went wrong and how to fix it.


Henderson says he feels the situation was handled well by the employees.


“It all appears to be in good shape,” said Henderson.


The main itself was not damaged. This was all part of the new water line system being put into place. The line that was shifted was a new water line.


Crow, owner of Rainbow Flowers and Gifts, says his building received minor damage because of the break.


“The roof couldn’t handle all of it,” said Crow.


Everything that goes up must come down. In this case, all the water that shot 150 feet in the air, had to find some place to go. Without all the storm sewers in place, the water ran wherever it could hide. Crow says it found refuge in his basement.


“We have a least a foot of water in our basement. It comes up to the steps,” said Crow.


Henderson says the pipe was two inches in diameter. After the water was shut off, employees reset the pipe, reconnected them and dropped backfill on top to avoid the situation again.


Crow says he doesn’t know the estimation of the damage to his building. He added his building has sprung a few new leaks that he didn’t have before and the back of the building had a lot of run-off when the incident took place.


“It was like a river back there,” said Crow.


One would think Crow may not support the idea of all the work because customers can’t use the front door. However, Crow says he feels the project itself is worthwhile and supports the progress.


“You have to be positive,” said Crow.

A crew worker walks in front of a 150-foot water geyser last Thursday. The geyser was the result of a water main shifting during a routine cleaning of a sewer line. City employees quickly got the water shut off and the situation was under control in a relatively short period of time.

City workers open up a fire hydrant to relieve pressure from a service line. It took city employees about 10 minutes to get the geyser under control and it was repaired immediately.