Lockwood water woes continue
September 30, 2009

From the Billings Gazette
By Kahrin Deines

Lockwood residents under an order to conserve and boil their water will have to continue doing so a little while longer.

"We made an effort to turn the water back on at about 6:30 tonight," Woody Woods, Lockwood Water and Sewer manager, said Wednesday night. "But the valve started leaking."

People who live east of Johnson Lane in Lockwood were asked on Tuesday to conserve and boil their water after a water main cracked. That 10-inch line, located where Johnson Lane intersects with Old Hardin Road, fissured at about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Work crews installed two bypass lines to replace the water that usually feeds from the 10-inch line into the reservoir for residents east of Johnson. But, when they tried to turn that main line on again Wednesday night, it began to leak, so crews were forced to start over, Woods said.

Woods said crews toiled until about 4 a.m. Wednesday, when they had to halt as they waited for a special piece to connect old and new pipes. They returned to work, with help from the Billings and Laurel Water Departments, early Wednesday morning.

"We've been rushing around trying to get things accomplished," Woods said.

As of 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, crews were on scene working to replace the new leaky valve. A new group of workers came in early Wednesday evening to replace the old one, which had been working for most of Wednesday to correct the problem. Heavy rains throughout much of the afternoon and evening compounded the problem, causing dirt underneath the lines to move and give out.

"It's a real tough element out here," Woods said. "But they'll keep working 'til it's fixed. You can't just ignore something like this."

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