Fulda water main breaks: Source of leak still unknown
FULDA — An unallocated water main break is costing the city of Fulda at least 200,000 gallons of water loss.
“We noticed it Monday morning, and since then we believe we have lost a couple hundred thousand gallons of water,” said Butch Huerkamp, public works supervisor for the city of Fulda.
City crews had not been able to locate the water main break or determine its cause as of Tuesday afternoon, but Huerkamp stated they were doing all they can.
“I’ve never encountered a water main break that I haven’t been able to locate, but you just don’t know where it could be dumping into,” Huerkamp said. “It could be running into a creek, and we wouldn’t know — there are so many possibilities as to why this is happening.”
In addition to the city crew and contractor, the city hired an individual out of Minneapolis to come to Fulda and check for leaks as well.
“We had our locators out last night, and we still can’t come up with much,” Huerkamp said.
The possible cause of the leak is the icy temperatures the local area has seen.
“I think the weather is basically why this happened, but if it is a water main break and the weather warms up, that drives the frost in and makes it deeper, which will just make the situation worse,” Huerkamp explained.
Huerkamp said that if the cause isn’t found soon, residents could notice some pressure loss in their water.
However, despite the large amount of water loss, city businesses and schools seem unaffected so far.
“We were told to conserve water, but other than that, things are fine here and we haven’t noticed any changes,” said Gregg Slaathaug, principal at Fulda High School.
The administrator for New Dawn Inc. said its offices have not had any problems, either.
Despite the unknown cause, the city is asking citizens, businesses and schools of Fulda to conserve water until the situation is handled.
“All we can do right now is ask people to try and conserve water until we get this figured out,” Huerkamp said. “Basically, until you can see it to fix, there isn’t a whole lot we can do, but we’re doing our very best in searching for this break.”
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.