WF to spend $1.5 million on water line replacements

WF to spend $1.5 million on water line replacements
The project will improve the overall quality of the water in Wichita Falls. (Source: KAUZ)

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Lots of water lines throughout Wichita Falls are scheduled to be replaced in 2018 as part of the Water Budget Utility Improvements project.

On Tuesday city council passed a resolution making the $1.5 million project official.

It's a project done every year, but one that not a lot of people think about.

However, Director of Public Works Russell Schreiber believes it's something that needs to be done every year.

If not, he thinks people would notice.

"Even though water lines are out-of-sight and out-of-mind and people tend to forget about them, they don't last forever," Schreiber said. "And these old steel lines have just reached the end of their useful life."

Areas that will see their water lines replaced include Cumberland Ave., Grant St., Harrison St., Polk St., Grace St., 15th St., 22nd St., Keeler Ave., Avenue H, Avenue I, Avenue K, and Joline St.

The city does this project every year to improve the city's water quality and reliability of their water system.

Schreiber said the consequences of not replacing them could be rusty water.

"It's imperative that we protect the quality of water to as high a level as we possibly can," Schreiber said. "And by replacing these mains we can do that."

Many Wichita Falls residents agree.

On the Newschannel 6 Facebook page Ana Elena Ortiz-Gil said "I think if the pipes are in bad condition and need to be fixed, they should be. That is what our tax money is supposed to go towards."

Jane Coffman also posted that she agreed.

Schreiber said the Public Works Department already has had to go to these areas, turn the water off, and make repairs to these lines way too often.

"It makes it more reliable, improves customer service, and reduces maintenance costs by eliminating mains that are continuous maintenance problems and leak quite frequently," Schreiber said. "You want a reliable product, a very high-quality product coming out of the water mains to the citizens of Wichita Falls."

Schreiber said the project is expected to begin in about 30 to 45 days and then take eight months to complete.

He said the current pipes are also too small.

The new pipes will be bigger, allowing more water to be able to get to the homes.

Upsizing the pipes also means now they will be able to attach fire hydrants to them and make the neighborhoods safer in case of an emergency.

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