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For second time in a week, customers go with dry taps as pipe breaks open in Oakhurst

Clayton Lemire, left, and John Miller work to shovel out a broken pipe along Victoria Lane in Oakhurst Friday, June 9, 2017. Hillview Water Company officials estimated repairs would be complete by 3 p.m. Friday.
Clayton Lemire, left, and John Miller work to shovel out a broken pipe along Victoria Lane in Oakhurst Friday, June 9, 2017. Hillview Water Company officials estimated repairs would be complete by 3 p.m. Friday. Sierra Star

Staff under hire from Hillview Water Company were at work Friday morning to repair the second leak to break open this week in Oakhurst, this time along Victoria Lane.

Ralph Fairfield, Hillview’s compliance and resource officer, said the leak was reported shortly before 8 a.m., with around 150 gallons of lost water a minute.

He said initially, the services of 51 customers - around 150 people in total - were affected, but the leak had been isolated and service was restored to all but around 10 connections. Those affected were all in the area around Victoria Lane, Fairfield said.

The leak was not as significant as the first from a ruptured pipe along School Road (427) on Tuesday, where some 256 customers went a full day without being able to turn on their taps.

Fairfield expected repairs to the Victoria Lane pipe to be complete by 3 p.m.

He said a boil water advisory, suggested by state agencies, would be sent out shortly to the remaining affected customers. That advisory will be lifted once tests are complete in the next 24 hours after repairs are finished, Fairfield said.

As to the cause of two leaks in a week, Fairfield said it was difficult to determine.

“With the first leak, after we took everything out, we found a rock on the pipe when it was laid more than 30 years ago,” Fairfield said. “And over time, running water through pipes causes vibrations which, with the rock moving back and forth, can potentially damage the pipe. It’s simply hard to say for sure.”

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

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