Crews work to repair pipes, roads, gas leak in aftermath of major Colorado Springs water main break | Colorado Springs News
Colorado Springs Utilities workers and road crews continued on Saturday to repair the damage caused by a water pipe rupture on Friday afternoon that caused a flood at the intersection of North Academy Boulevard and Maizeland Road and created several bubbling cracks.
The repair work was even more complicated when a piece of asphalt fell from the edge of a construction pit into the hole and hit a 4-inch gas line, breaking it and causing a leak.
The firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after 4 p.m. and set up a wide perimeter while the gas crews worked to fix the gas leak.
“The tarmac in this area has been weakened by all of the water,” said Natalie Watts, spokeswoman for Utilities.
Some nearby areas and businesses that had been without water since Friday afternoon were also now without gas, Watts said.
One location that Friday resembled a four-lane south-flowing river that looked more like a construction area on Saturday. Heavy equipment scooped discolored water from a gaping excavation hole in the south-facing lanes of the intersection, and trucks repaired the north-facing lanes.
“We’re gaining from it,” said a Colorado Springs Utilities employee, who was one of the first on Friday. “We have to remove the water, asphalt and dirt from the hole before we can assess the pipe.”
The 30-inch pipe that burst is about 60 years old, according to Watts.
“We have aging infrastructure in our water system that we are currently actively replacing if the budget allows,” Watts wrote in a press release.
Several agencies are involved in the repair work, according to Watts, as the break came near a gas pipeline with electrical cables floating overhead.
Homes and businesses north of the intersection do not appear to be affected by the main break, while the south side has been without water since Friday afternoon, according to several residents and employees.
At Hooked on Books, a second-hand bookshop in the Maizeland Moors shopping center on the northeast corner of the intersection, the water and sewer systems were working normally, according to owner David Satin.
“I live north of here and have had no problems at home,” said Satin, adding that his parents, who live south and east of the main break, got stained water.
“I think we’re the lucky ones,” said a Boost Mobile business employee in the same complex.
A supermarket on the south side of Maizeland was closed until further notice, and the open shops had either discolored water or no water at all, according to the employees.
“I don’t know how businesses should run without water,” she said.
Once the cracked pipe is repaired, it will need to be tested by flushing nearby plumbing and fire hydrants, Watts said. This could move sediment in the pipes and cause discolored water in nearby residents and businesses.
According to Watts, residents with discolored water should try to flush their water lines by running a spigot near the main line (generally an outside hose tap) for 15 minutes and repeat the process if the water does not clear.
“The discoloration you see isn’t dirt, but iron that’s in line and churned up,” said Watts.
The utility company also recommends that customers wait a day or two for the laundry and empty their water heaters.
“It’s recommended that you do this once a year as part of a preventative maintenance plan anyway, so now would be a good time to dump it,” said Watts.
Affected customers with specific concerns about water quality should call the utility laboratory at (719) 668-4560.
It is not yet known when the cracked pipe will be repaired, but residents should expect the academy-Maizeland intersection to be closed for the entire weekend and plan accordingly, Watts said. The supply agency asks drivers to avoid the area if possible.