This leak started about five years ago in 2017 according to the resident and has progressively gotten worse. The estimated water loss from this leak is between 100,000 to 200,000 gallons per day based on the well flows minus the wastewater inflow, according to the City's licensed wastewater operator Justus Lundy. A leak of this size will only get worse exponentially, it was reported.
The City’s excavation equipment is not sufficient for this repair or replacement. The pipe crosses under Smithneck Creek around the section suspected is leaking. Making a sound repair and/or replacement could consist of diverting the creek. Pipe depth is extremely deep in this area and excavation equipment would need to be capable to dig at such depths safely.
Mayor Sarah Jackson talked of “critical and urgent options” of contacting an engineering firm to propose solutions; contact Cal Rural Water to see what grants are available and/or putting the job out to bid to a large excavation contractor with appropriate equipment. She wants to do “something sooner that later.” Problems discussed were refilling tanks, building an emergency bypass and concern over a single pump serving the City. The City’s engineer, Farr West was to be here on Wednesday. The Council voted to move with emergency main repairs, declaring a public utility emergency. At the next meeting, there will be a resolution agreement to contract with CTL Forest Management for specialty services.