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Water main break located

Crews work on the water main break Thursday afternoon in Fulda. (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY Paul Clausen)

FULDA — The water main break of earlier this week has been located.

According to Butch Huerkamp, Fulda Public Works Superintendent, the break was located in the northwest part of Fulda.

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“(It was located) with the process of shutting gates down and checking the storm drains,” Huerkamp said. “We had an electronic leak detector that we narrowed down to a certain area. About a quarter after three (Wednesday), we found it. We’re digging it up right now.”

The break was first noticed Monday morning. By afternoon, approximately 200,000 gallons of water had already been lost.

On Thursday, Huerkamp said he hadn’t yet figured out much water had been lost.

“I haven’t had time to tally it up yet,” he said. “A lot.”

As of noon Thursday, the issue was in the process of being fixed.

“We have a two-inch gas main that’s right above it that froze in the frost,” Huerkamp said. “You have to jet everything and back it all out so you don’t wreck the two-inch gas. It’s going to take some time, but hopefully we’ll get it (Thursday).”

He didn’t anticipate citizens or businesses noticing any loss of pressure during this time.

“It should go pretty smooth, I would think,” Huerkamp said. “I got like 25 feet of water in my tower, so we’re back up to where we should be. We usually run about 27 feet full. She’s coming back. When we found it, we shut some gates off to slow it up.”

He said the break is the biggest he’s seen in the 13 years he’s been working with public works. Huerkamp said he believed the cause of the break was “the cold weather and the shifting of the ground — that’s 90 percent of them.”

As far as the extended cold weather, he said that’s the worst he’s seen, too.

“Of all the winters I’ve been doing it, this has been the worst one I’ve seen in a long time as far as freezing up water,” said Huerkamp, adding he was ready for warmer temperatures “a long time ago.”

Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen can be reached at 376-7323.