Master Plan in Place to Fix Pipes in The Falls

Every summer Wichita Falls Public Works crews respond to numerous calls regarding broken water mains. This summer is no different, the city responded to over a dozen calls last week.

Newschannel 6 set to find out if the City has a long-term plan in place to fix old and deteriorating  pipes.

Russuel Schreiber, Wichita Falls Director of Public Works said they have had a plan in place since 2008, "We have a master plan in place that shows as identified areas we need to replace old deteriorated water mains."

Schreiber said with increasing attention focused on the city's ongoing drought repairing pipes have often been overlooked.

"We have to figure out when our raw water supply is going to come from. we have to maintain the treatment systems. we have to maintain the reservoirs," said Schreiber

Each year Schreiber says $1.4 million dollars of the Public Works budget goes towards water main replacement.

He said because of the lack of revenue repairs they have not been able to make as many repairs as they would like.

Since the plan has been put in place he said only two to three have been completed or near completion.

There are 27 projects on its masterplan averaging $2 million dollars each. An estimate $65 million dollars in repairs.

"That $3.50 people pay per 1,000 gallons," said Schreiber. "They get sliced up into a lot of pieces and water main replacement or capital improvements are a very small piece of that."

Schreiber said just because plans are in place does not mean they are set in stone.

"We focus our efforts in areas where we get a lot of complaints or our water distribution guys are having extraordinary amount of leaks," said Schreiber.

He said coordination with other entities are also necessary inorder to efficiently use taxpayer dollars.

"The street rehab and overlaying project, we try to coordinate that poject our water rehap project and our sewer rehap project. so that we don't go in overlay the street and two years later or one year later we have to go in and replace the waterline underneath," said Schreiber.

Schreiber said they could probably use more funding to make repairs, but are trying to their best with the means they have available.

He said inorder for more repairs to take place it will require water rates to increase.

, Newschannel 6