UPDATE: Tucson water crews unable to complete overnight repairs
A big section of midtown all dried out Thursday night. Residents won't have water until early tomorrow morning as Tucson Water makes some major repairs.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporters: Liz Kotalik, Marcelino Benito, Justin Shecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The water is running without interruption this morning after Tucson Water crews were unable to complete scheduled overnight repairs along a 15 block stretch in midtown and the east side.
For the last two months if you drove by the corner of 19th and Swan, it looked like rain had moved through the area. But the water pooling down 19th St. didn't come from the sky. It's been leaking out of a water valve underneath the ground.
"Basically in the middle of the street, there's a little bit of water bubbling up all the time," said midtown resident Chuck Tommervik.
Tucson Water spokesperson Fernando Molina told 9 On Your Side overnight crews discovered additional broken valves. Some customers were without water at different times overnight, but there was not the widespread water outage as planned, Molina said.
"We really hoped that we would actually do the repairs last night, but it's really an area...the midtown area is older, the infrastructure in there is aging."
About a quarter of the 90,000 valves in the ground aren't working, Molina said, mostly because they are so old.
Molina told us Tucson Water has lost the funding to send crews out specifically to test valves to make sure they are working.
Peter Sollenbarger lives right up the street from the leak in the road, and told us not too long ago, he had a valve issue of his own.
"They were just replacing one of the valves behind my house which has been leaking for months and it sent tons of mud through my pluming."
Crews will regroup and plan to do the repairs in the next week or so, Molina said. He added they may be able to narrow down the repairs so fewer customers will lose their water service.
Residents still prepared for the overnight loss of water service.
"I'm glad they're doing it at night when it will inconvenience the least amount of people," said resident Steve Watson before the planned outage.
Tucson Water sent neighbors a letter letting them know they'd shut off the water overnight. It gave neighbors time to prepare.
"Just filling up some containers making sure the dogs have a lot of extra water," said resident Linda Bullivant.
They filled up bathtubs and buckets before the 9 p.m deadline.
"That way we can go and flush the toilet through the night as we need to," said Watson.
"I'm just happy it's getting fixed," said resident John McPall.
Neighbors ready to see the small stream stop flowing down their street, before that small stream turns into a bigger problem, a swallowing sinkhole.
"It might be just a little bit inconvenience, but it's a lot better than these sinkholes that I've seen where they have cars falling in it," said Watson.
If you have questions about the water outage, click here.