Water Main broke in Riverton not once, or twice, but three times over the weekend

One of the three leaks in a 12 inch city water main was captured in this photo. The water was being diverted away from the Riverton Country Club golf course, where a tournament had been planned. (Photo by Ron Warpness) 

(Riverton, Wyo.) – A 12-inch main water line serving The Villages next to the Riverton Country Club sprung a leak Saturday, not once, not twice, but three separate times, according to Mayor Ron Warpness.

The ductile iron pipe’s first leak around 4 p.m. Saturday sent a geyser of water 70 feet into the air and city crews initially reduced the flow of the line to prevent the golf course from flooding and  planned to fix it on Sunday. Warpness and City Administrator Steven Weaver inspected the leak that afternoon. “The amount of potable water rushing out of the break didn’t make sense to us, and a resident had complained they had no water at all, so the decision was made to fix it that evening.

The mayor said he returned to the site at 9 p.m. and said the leak had been repaired, but another one occurred in the same line just 50 feet away. City crews fixed that leak on Sunday morning, but then a third blow out occurred. “With three leaks in one section of pipe, I think it’s a time bomb waiting to happen,” Warpness said. “There must be something in the soil there that is acting on the iron pipe.”

A review of city records indicated the line serving The Villages had been repaired five or six times in the past.

“The collars they use to fix the leaks are quite expensive, at least $500 each, and we had to use three of them there this weekend,” Warpness said.”It’s obviously an area where work needs to be done.” The mayor suggested it may be time to replace the ductile iron pipe with PVC piping.