IRVING, Texas - Repairs continued for a second day on a destructive water main break over the weekend in Irving.
That break left water gushing for 5 and a half hours and threatened power lines on Sunday. The city says repairs are now complete.
Bricelda Villatoro is the manager at nearby Po’Melvin’s Down Home Cooking. She shot cell phone video moments after a water main broke near Beltline Road and Walnut Hill Lane, shooting water 80 feet into the sky.
“It was just a bunch of water. We are like what’s going on? And we peak out the window and it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” she recalled. “We are working, so we are hoping our water didn’t cut off because of the thing. So we were all just paying attention to see what was going on.”
City of Irving crews worked through Sunday evening and were back at it Monday morning and into the afternoon repairing the damage. A spokeswoman says the valves were shut off by 8 p.m. Sunday, but Villatoro says it appeared water was still flowing.
The spokeswoman says the water main break was likely caused by heavy rainfall which created ground movement causing an outlet and valve to separate from the pipe. The city received just over an inch of rain Wednesday and Thursday of last week, which isn’t an unusually high amount but the ground was already soaked. She says it took so long to cut the water off completely because there are multiple valves that needed to be shut off, and each valve can require hundreds of turns which must be done slowly to prevent other breaks in the system.
Oncor says it did not need to make repairs to the power pole and did not experience any outages as a result of the water main break.
Water crews worked in several nearby locations Monday afternoon, completing the fix and replacing the large manhole shaft that shot out of the ground.
Fortunately, the folks at the surrounding businesses did not experience loss in water or water pressure.
The city did not answer any questions about how many gallons of water were spilled during that 5-and-a-half-hour geyser and what, if anything, the city can do to keep it from happening again.