“It just wasn’t building any pressure,” Oklahoma community goes without water for three weeks

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MASHAM, Okla. - With Oklahoma's rising temperatures, running water is essential, but the community in Masham had to go without it for about three weeks.

Water finally started flowing out faucets again Thursday morning after Rural Water District 5 crews were finally able to locate and patch a second major leak, according to district board chair Roy Robbins.

Masham resident Roger Green said going that long without being able to bathe, cook, or drink water at home wasn't easy.

"Just like using the restrooms," Green said. "You either go outside or you go to town depending on what you've got to do."

Tempers in the town were running high.

"It was a long time and people really got aggravated," Green said.

The water is pumped from the nearby town of Ralston, via the Rural Water District. Ralston water operator Dave Rogers said he knew something wasn't working.

"I was pumping the same amount of water as I have over the years and it just wasn't building any pressure," Rogers said. "It was running out as fast as it was going in."

Rogers' suspicion of a leak was confirmed, but Robbins contends Ralston pumps too little water to its neighbor anyway.

"We want to get along with them but they just can't provide us enough water," said Robbins, who lives in Mashan. "It doesn't seem like they want to do anything about it."

Meanwhile, the pastor at Masham Baptist Church, Johnny Wagner, sent out a plea for help on social media, and in response, local businesses, emergency management and the city of Pawnee have come through donating dozens of packages of bottled water.

"It's been amazing what we've been able to accomplish through social media as far as getting the resources together and making sure the people of the local area are aware of what's been going on," Pastor Wagner said.

There's even nonpotable water available for livestock and flushing toilets.

Wagner said they are continually looking for more donations of water because he doesn't know when the water will be flowing consistently flowing again.

Now, RWD5 is installing meters along its lines to more easily find leaks in the future.