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Hillview repairs major leak, restores water to Broadview Terrace in Oakhurst

Clayton Lemire, owner of Lemire Tractor Incorporated, on Tuesday morning begins pushing out water covering a large leak that opened up in a Hillview Water Company pipe along School Road (427) near Elliot Drive the day before. Repairs were complete and pumps back to full flow by 8:10 p.m. that evening.
Clayton Lemire, owner of Lemire Tractor Incorporated, on Tuesday morning begins pushing out water covering a large leak that opened up in a Hillview Water Company pipe along School Road (427) near Elliot Drive the day before. Repairs were complete and pumps back to full flow by 8:10 p.m. that evening. Sierra Star

Residents of the Broadview Terrace subdivision in Oakhurst had running water shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, after a long day without water due to a major leak in a Hillview Water Company pipe.

After originally estimating the water service would return by 6 p.m., a spokesperson for the company said the repairs would be made and water service restored by 7:30 p.m., and officials said pumps were fully flowing at 8:10 p.m..

The repair time was extended when workers discovered the leak was on the ‘bottom’ of the pipe, which was sitting on a large rock.

A resident on School Road (427) near First Baptist Church in Oakhurst spotted a major leak in Hillview Water Company’s pipes near the church on Tuesday. The leak broke open along School Road, near the intersection with Elliott Drive, close to where a sinkhole opened in the road last week.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Hillview officials notified 256 business and residential customers, via automated phone calls, that crews were attempting to find a major water line break that caused an overnight loss of 100,000 gallons.

The loss of water was coming from a large leak in a 12-inch water main, Hillview Manager James Foster said.

Foster called it a “significant leak” after a drastic drop in the water level of the number 420 tank near Yosemite High School. Hillview estimated the leak/break was causing water loss of about 600 gallons a minute.

Hillview’s on call service technician received a call early Tuesday morning about the 420 tank (420,000 gallon tank above the high school on Highland View Lane) activating a ‘low level’ alarm. The alarm is triggered at 19 feet, but the tank got to 6 feet before the leak was discovered.

In the automated calls, customers were asked to conserve water, be prepared for discolored water, and the possibility of running low on water.

The automated message also stated that customers might experience low water pressure or no pressure for a period of time.

On Monday morning, part of the system was shut down due to another leak which has since been repaired.

The large leak comes just four days after company and state officials held a ribbon cutting, announcing the utilities’ $20 million expansion project, including treatment plants that will remove iron, arsenic, uranium, and manganese from the water within the next year.

Details: Hillview Water Company, (559) 683-4322.

Staff Report

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