A water main repair has about 40 homes without water in northeast Durango.
Assistant Utilities Director Jarrod Biggs said crews worked Wednesday on a 16-inch water main that has been problematic all summer.
Biggs said residents were notified of the project prior to the start of work Wednesday, and were told that water may be out for a short amount of time as crews tried to isolate the line and repair it.
But crews were unable to isolate the problem Wednesday, pushing the work into Thursday, which Biggs said was longer than expected for residents to be out of water.
“We thought it would be quicker,” he said. “And we recognized that some people, because that line was draining last night, ended up without water when we did not intend that.”
The water outage has affected houses on Elm Place, heading west on Oak Drive, Aquarius Place, Willow Place and several houses on North College Drive.
Matt Hladik, who lives on North College Drive, said he called the utility department Thursday morning and was told workers forgot to turn on valves after finishing work Wednesday evening.
“You realize quickly how much water affects your life,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that they had no information or no way to call after hours. What if there was an emergency? How are you supposed to get a hold of somebody?”
Biggs said crews tested water valves before they left the job site Wednesday, which showed they were flowing, so crews did not turn on the valve. However, it turned out that was only residual water in the pipe, which eventually ran out.
“It turned out to be a false positive,” Biggs said.
The city of Durango is distributing cases of drinking water and 5 gallons of water for varied use. Free passes to the Durango Community Recreation Center are also being offered.
Water was expected to be turned on late Thursday, Biggs said.
“We are hopeful it will be sooner rather than later, but we can’t really say,” he said. “Whether it goes into tonight and tomorrow (Friday), we will have people actively working until it’s done.”
Biggs said this is the same water line that broke in September, causing water outages near the Fort Lewis College Smith Sports Complex.