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UPDATE: City Crews Working On Bypass Pipe Following Water Main Line Leak

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City Of Wichita
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Update 01/27/15:

Crews are making progress building a bypass pipe after a leak was discovered last week near the city's water treatment plant. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

Crews are still working to bypass the main line that carries water to Wichita from Cheney Reservoir and the Equus Beds Aquifer. Alan King, director of public works, said the completion date for the bypass pipe has been bumped back to Thursday because of snags in the process including the availability of parts.

"This is the first step," King says. "If we can get this bypass in place, we’ll be able to provide adequate water for our customers, even if the pipe that’s leaking should fail. Once that’s in place, then we can start looking at making the repair to the pipe."

King says the cost of the bypass is approximately $590,000, but that could change depending on additional repairs. The project is being funded out of a roughly $5 million rehabilitation fund used to replace failing infrastructure that comes from water rate increases previously approved by the City Council.

Original Story:

Officials in Wichita are designing a bypass pipe to take pressure off a main feed from the Equus Beds Aquifer and Cheney Reservoir to the city's water plant. The leak was discovered Wednesday. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports...

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Director of Public Works Alan King says the leak is not affecting the city’s ability to deliver water or the quality of the water, but a leak can sometimes be an indication of an upcoming pipe failure.

King says the goal is to have the new bypass in place this weekend, but depending on the availability of necessary parts, it could be pushed back as far as next week.

“We’re looking at a contingency," he says. "If we should have a failure before we get the bypass in place, worst case, we have to go with a reduced amount of flow into the system.”

He says a pipe failure is a remote possibility, but if it does occur, all 450,000 water users in the city will be asked to reduce their usage. Once the bypass is in place, crews will excavate in order to determine the cause of the leak and make necessary repairs.

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Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter, @AbigailKMUW