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Water department officials work around the clock; 116 leaks reported

OKLAHOMA CITY - Officials with Oklahoma City's Water Department worked around the clock on Wednesday to repair water main breaks and leaks.

Steve Botkin, Unit Operations Supervisor with the Oklahoma City Water Department, told News 4 there were at least 116 pending leaks as of 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

That figure includes ones reported Tuesday night throughout Wednesday morning. Crews also responded to a water main break near Downing Street and Waverly Avenue, which was reported just before 9 a.m.

"From the picture I had seen, it looks like it had a hole blown on top of the water pipe," Botkin said.

The leak on Downing Street was considered a "code 1," according to Botkin. These are emergency leaks that include damage and a significant amount of water loss, along with residences and businesses having their water shut off while crews work to fix the problem.

Part of N.W. 26th was also labeled a code 1.

“We can’t bathe. We can’t drink,” said resident David Jones. “It’s inconvenient, but they’ll get it resolved. It’s pretty common I think because of the age of the pipes.”

Botkin said it’s not uncommon for the leak count to rise from time to time.

“Part of it is due to the weather conditions, ground shifting, depending on the pressure demand, things like that,” he said.

Officials are urging people affected by water leaks to stay patient as crews work.

"We try within an hour, hour and a half when a leak comes in like that," he said. "We try to get a crew on it but, with the weather conditions and the number of leaks that we currently have, it takes sometimes a little longer to get a crew to one of those job sites."

Code 2 leaks are considered second priority leaks and could also create some hazards. Code 3 leaks generally cause the least amount of disturbance to residences and businesses.

For more information or assistance, contact the Oklahoma City Water Line Maintenance at 405-297-2460.