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Water outage continues in Konawa

Residents continue to collect bottled and tank water from city hall after the city's water system stopped working Monday.
by Juliana Keeping Modified: November 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012

— Residents picked up bottled water at city hall and filled containers from large tanks during the second day of a water outage, officials said Tuesday.

Seminole County emergency manager Von Wilcots said the large tanks were supplied by the Oklahoma National Guard and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Konawa Public Schools opened showers to the public, City Manager Rita LoPresto said. The school district has its own well system and has not been directly affected by the water outage.

A laundromat with its own well system also is setting up a shower trailer for residents.

A broken valve in a well field is the likely culprit that caused the city's water to stop flowing Monday, affecting all 1,300 residents, LoPresto said. The crumbling water system has been problematic for several years, leading to periodic shutdowns and boil orders.

The newest problem is in a well field five miles south of the city.

A new valve had to be modified to fit the aging system and is expected to arrive Wednesday, LoPresto said. That's the earliest residents can expect running water again, she said.

The city's aging water system has been patched up in recent years with a combination of borrowed money and state and federal grants, she said.

Once the system is up and running, the state Department of Environmental Quality will recommend a boil order, spokeswoman Skylar McElhaney said.

“Any time water pressure is lost, there is the chance for bacterial contamination,” she said.

Testing of water samples for bacterial contamination will determine when it is safe to lift the boil order.

by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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