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Experimental fix for water pipeline seems to have worked

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Posted at 10:10 PM, Dec 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-19 00:10:34-05

LAVERKIN, Utah – An experimental procedure to temporarily fix a collapsed pipe appears to have worked.

Tuesday, the Washington County Water Conservancy District’s 72-inch steel collector pipe flattened after a pressure valve froze. Wednesday, crews successfully re-inflated the pipe, restoring pipeline access.

Culinary water service was not interrupted during the shutdown, as the pipe collects raw water from the Virgin River and takes it to Quail Creek Reservoir. Conservancy district associate general manager Corey Cram said malfunctions are something they’re constantly watching for but didn’t expect in this area.

“We see it happen occasionally in different locations,” Cram said. “It can happen to big pipes, and little pipes, and something we obviously try to avoid.”

The pipe collects hundreds of acre-feet of water every week, so being without it would mean a lower supply. Cram said with several years of drought conditions already behind us, it’s time they couldn’t afford to lose. Even though the pipe was successfully re-inflated, Cram said it will be replaced as soon as possible.

“This is a unique section of pipe because it’s up in the air, and it’s a pipeline that’s above ground, with elbows on either side,” Cram said. “We’ll have to get some pipe, made especially for this segment.”