Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

What you need to know about water main breaks in the summer

OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents on NW 56th and Meridian had a tough time getting ready Tuesday morning after a water main break on the street.

"The main water line broke in the front yard and it was coming up through the street and bubbling up through the street and created kind of a sinkhole," Resident Michael Story said.

"We just filled up a few pitchers so at least we'd have water to brush your teeth,” Bob Sweet said.

Resident Bill Ross is a bus driver.

He's getting ready to take the Oklahoma City Dodgers to their away games out of state.

"It's pretty dry without being able to take a shower to get ready to go to work,” Resident Bill Ross said.

Down the street -- Michael Story just had a new sprinkler system installed. Now the city has been forced to tear up his front yard to repair the break.

"It looks like they're going to take care of it. Hopefully won't tear up the yard too bad,” Story said.

Oklahoma City has 3,000 miles of water main pipes and 4,000 miles of sewer lines.

"So that's two and a half times across the United States from Virginia to California. that's a lot of lines that we're working each and every day,” Jennifer McClintock with the City of OKC, said.

When one breaks, it typically takes four to eight hours to repair.

Since last July, the city has repaired 570, which they say is a pretty low number.

However, as temperatures climb this summer so will the number of water main breaks.

"We really see an uptick in the number of water breaks is when we have a really hot, hot summer and water is in high demand,” McClintock said.

Jennifer McClintock says Oklahoma City residents use about 80 million gallons of water a day in the winter.

On a hot summer day that increases to 200 million gallons every day.

A big culprit -- sprinklers.

"Your lawn doesn't need that much water. In fact, if you over water your lawn it could start to kill the grass off,” McClintock said.

And for these neighbors, a dry faucet is just a minor inconvenience.

"Life throws you a curve ball you've just got to be able to hit it," Ross said.

There's no official cause for why the water main broke on Tuesday morning.

The city implemented odd-even watering days in 2013 to decrease the amount of water in the pipes.

That means odd number houses can water on the odd days and even addresses can water on the even days.

If you don't you could face up to a $1,200 fine for multiple offenses.

For more information, click here.

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