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Oak Creek works on repairs

Oak Creek’s water plant is almost back to normal, three weeks after a break in the main waterline drained 90 percent of the town’s water supply.

The break occurred Dec. 22, and the initial repair was done that day. Since then, the town has worked to address a few additional repairs, including fixing the water plant’s automated computer system, replacing the broken pipes and repairing minor damages at the plant, Oak Creek Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman said.

Rodeman and Routt County officials declared a state of emergency for the town Dec. 22 after they realized the severity of the break. Rodeman said water plant Director Stan Gale found the water plant’s main pipe had cracked, flooded the water plant and reduced the water level of the town’s 200,0000-gallon tank to about 20,000 gallons.



“Most of the things we lost at the plant were (Gale’s) personal belongings. He had all of his Christmas presents on his office floor,” Rodeman said.

Rodeman said workers got the plant’s automated computer system up and running Jan. 4. Without the computer system, Gale had to check on the plant’s operations every four hours to make sure it was running smoothly.



Besides some drywall work and painting, the plant’s temporary PVC pipes will be replaced with iron ductile pipes.

“We’re almost back to normal up there. Everyone in town thought the problem was over that day,” Rodeman said.

Rodeman said she has ordered the iron ductile pipes but that she does not know when they will arrive or be installed.

Rodeman said the engineers and architects who built the plant in November 2004 have not been able to determine why the pipe broke. The breaks were stress fractures.

“I’m glad it will be iron ductile now,” Rodeman said.

Rodeman said one company has offered to pay for the new pipes. She also said she doesn’t think the town will be financially responsible for most of the remaining work.

“Everyone has been fabulous. I think the damage we did suffer was minimized by the fast actions of everyone who came to help,” Rodeman said.

— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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