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Crews restore water supply after 3 water mains break in Conway, Mo.

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT
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CONWAY, Mo. (KY3) - Three separate water mains broke in Conway on Tuesday, and crews were busy repairing them around the clock all day Tuesday and Wednesday.

After several hours of repair efforts, water supply has been restored to the entire area.

The whole mess was not only unexpected, but very unusual.

“We don’t have three 6-inch main feeders break in a year, let alone 4 hours,” Conway Mayor Fred Savage said Wednesday.

The sudden burst of three water mains on Tuesday has been a bit overwhelming for the town of about 800.

”We replaced sleep with coffee and we’re still going,” Savage said Wednesday afternoon as crews continued working.

Workers from MoDOT, the railroad company and the city had been working tirelessly to get things back on track. One of the biggest obstacles was that the railroad track in town.

”Yesterday we were able to fix Myrtle and Maple street’s but this one behind me as you can see is taking a considerable amount of work,” Savage said.

That is because one of the mains is directly underneath the railway.

”They’ve had to move all of their electrical lines, all their sensors and everything,” Savage said. “And then they had to remove the tower and the protective gate arm that comes down and all the lights that are overhead.”

All of it is anchored to concrete below ground. And while repairs took place, nearly a third of the town were still without water just because of the broken main underneath the tracks.

”We have been without since yesterday,” Conway resident Elisha Hill said. “We are brushing our teeth with bottled water, using bottled water for drinking purposes. And we are actually dipping water out of our swimming pool to flush out toilet.”

It was an inconvenience for some, but it could be worse Hill said.

”The fire department’s been supplying water so that’s been very helpful,” she said.

On top of the fix, Savage is primarily interested in the cause.

”We’re concerned about what exactly happened,” he said. “We’ve had Missouri rural water looking into that to. And actually looking at maybe if there was any seismic activity in the area that could have accounted for three major ruptures all at the same time.”

Savage said Springfield and Lebanon helped provide some of the essential parts for these repairs, which he was very thankful for. The city has already been planning to put another source of water on the other side of the tracks, something Savage said would help in this exact scenario.

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