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Price city water and sewer crews honored by council

Sun Advocate community editor

Tax payer and private funds were salvaged on Oct. 8 as crews from the Price city water and sewer department acted with speed and competence to seal and repair a large water line break near Price Canyon.

According to Price city Public Works Director Gary Sonntag, On Oct. 8 crews were alerted to a major water pipe break of "catastrophic" proportions on the 20 inch culinary water transmission pipeline in Price Canyon.

The break occurred in an area approximately a quarter mile south of the Carbon Power Plant in the ash haul road.

"The road is used by Rocky Mountain Power to haul ash and if the line had not been repaired swiftly the road would have been completely washed out making it unusable to the facility," explained Sonntag. "Additionally the longer the pipe stayed broken and leaking the longer the length of pipe would have been damaged."

Sonntag reported in a letter to the crew and their families that the crews worked through the night to stabilize the site.

The break was isolated from the rest of the pipeline for reason of safety to the system and workers.

The situation was an emergency and of such size that it was necessary to bring in a contractor to augment the job effort with additional workers, materials and equipment.

"City crews worked along side the contractor until the broken pipe was cleared out, a new replacement section was installed and the hole was backfilled," he said in the letter. "City crews continued preparing the repaired pipeline section for operation through disinfection, flushing and cleaning. Due to dwindling water storage tank levels, while the water was shut off, water was transferred from a local provider to help keep tank levels up and fire fighting storage levels high."

According to the city's public works director, the pipeline was put back in service once determined safe water quality standards were met.

"You participated either directly in the repair, or supported those who were working on the repair, under emergency conditions, until the pipe repair was made as well as follow up cleaning and testing," said the letter to local workers. "The city's water and sewer department crews and staff responded very quickly in such an immense emergency."

Sonntag as well as the city council credited the crews abilities along with their attitude, training, skill set, practice, longevity and safe working practices.

"You and your department are a great example of the city's determined effort to maintain the city's vital services," concluded the letter.

Sonntag was very clear in the fact that his department was not just being praised for showing up and doing their jobs but for going out of their way to save tax payer dollars while maintaining their basic water services.

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