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Questar Gas workers enter the trench to repair the broken gas line.
Wellington utility workers excavate mud so a broken water main can be fixed.
Heavy equipment digs into the waste coal at the old Knight-Ideal site.

Broken gas line forces evacuation


Sun Advocate reporter

A Sunnyside woman was hospitalized and her neighborhood was evacuated for several hours Thursday afternoon as a broken gas pipe created a potentially explosive situation.

The incident began when Sunnyside maintenance workers nicked a two inch natural gas delivery line while looking for a leaking water main.

According to Sunnyside officials, the street recently began to weep water, causing city workers to believe that a main water line under the pavement had ruptured. After having Blue Stakes mark the area, Sunnyside workers began digging near the sidewalk at 651 Parkway Drive, accidentally rupturing a natural gas line.

The line in question is a two inch pipe which delivers natural gas at 45 pounds per square inch.

"Carla Crane, who was transported by the Sunnyside Ambulance Service following the break, reported that she was already sick when the day started," explained East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard. "The fumes must have exacerbated her condition and the ambulance was called."

Leonard reported that nearly a dozen homes were evacuated while law enforcement and fire officials readied the area for Questar Gas.

According to the East Carbon Chief, the gas line was ruptured at approximately 1 p.m. Questar was notified immediately and arrived on the scene within an hour to address the line.

Questar officials finished replacing the broken piece of line before six p.m. Allowing city crews to begin repairing a ten foot trench running along the street.

As a side note, it turns out that both Sunnyside City and the homeowner at 651 Parkway had breaks in their water lines.

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Water main breaks in Wellington


Sun Advocate associate editor

A 12-inch water main ruptured beneath Old Wellington Road Wednesday night, sending a 20-foot geyser spouting into the air and leaving residents in the Hillcrest neighborhood high and dry for the rest of the night and into the next day.

Wellington Elementary School also shut down Thursday.

Residents of the hilltop section expressed some concern about health and safety issues of the break. They were worried about potential contamination of their water. The city also did not use the reverse 911 system to inform residents of the situation.

They also were upset that the city did not respond more quickly to the break, especially since the fire hydrants were as inoperative as the household plumbing.

"I know the people who work at Wellington and I know they work hard," commented one resident, who said city crews could have been called out at night to handle the emergency.

But Mayor Ben Blackburn replied Thursday morning that workers had been called out at night to shut down the leaking section of pipe. Blackburn said there were two main reasons why the workers did not spend the night at the site.

First, the city was not able to get a Blue Stakes survey of the area around the break. It is potentially damaging to other underground utilities to excavate without knowing what other services are buried nearby. (See "Broken gas line forces evacuation," page 1A.)

Second, it was dark. "You can't get anything done without light. I learned that in the mines," Blackburn said.

The break caused the water tank at the top of the high to drain, causing quite a show at the bottom of the hill. Wellington's water transmission is on a loop system, which means that once a break is isolated, service can be restored to most areas.

It did take a long time to get the tank on top of the hill filled enough to restore pressure to the neighborhood on top, the mayor said.

As for fire protection, Blackburn said the city has tank trucks that operate without hydrants if need be.

New park takes shape on old coal


Sun Advocate associate editor

It may sound like the roar of heavy Diesel engines to some, but it's music to the ears of Wellington City officials and the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining.

The old Knight-Ideal coal loadout is being transformed from an eyesore into a new park.

Chris Rohrer, senior reclamation specialist with DOGM's abandoned mine reclamation program, said most of the earth moving should be completed before the end of the year.

The soil at the 17-acre site had been contaminated by coal fines and construction materials during the years that it had been used as a place to store and export coal via railroad. Some of that coal may still be usable, and the state is working with potential buyers to see if they can burn in to make electricity. The old coal may still be a resource, Rohrer explained.

Plans for the

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