Behind the Scenes

What happens when there is a water main repair?


First: Locating the leak 

Finding a leak is easier said than done. The terrain, geology, and visibility are all factors in locating a leak.  Even seeing where the water is surfacing doesn’t necessarily mean that is where the leak is located. Water can surface in one spot, but the actual line break can be a ways down the street.


Second: Calling in a Blue Stake

Everyone must call in a Blue Stake before digging.  Even if the circumstances are considered an emergency, we must call in a Blue Stake. Contacting Blue Stake automates the notification of all utility companies serving Kachina Village. The utilities representative goes to indicated location, and mark where their utilities are.  This insures a safer work environment and prevents unintended damage or outage of another utility. For emergency repairs utilities will tyoically respond within four hours. For a routine excavation it may take up to two working days for all the other utilities to respond and provide the needed marks.


Third: Planning the Repair 

Each repair will have its challenges.  The location of the leak will determine if it is necessary to reroute traffic, deploy temporary traffic personal, implement a road closure, initiate an encroachment permit, and or placement barricades.  The type of leak and pipe material will determine parts, personal and equipment necessary to fix the leak. The size and place of a leak will determine if the valve system can or should be used to slow the water.


Fourth: Getting a Crew on Site

KVID often uses an underground contractor to perform excavations and repairs. Underground contractors are experienced in water and sewer main repairs, replacement and installation.  Their expertise minimizes the outage time and ensures the repair is of the highest quality.  There are occasions when the underground contractor is first tasked with locating the leak and exploratory holes are dug.  As explained earlier, water can surface but the leak is not necessarily there.


Of course, the list above is incomplete.  During a main break, many things are happing and some things simultaneously.  We must adhere to all the rules and regulations of ADEQ, ACC, Coconino County, Blue Stake, trenching safety requirements, along with other federal and state agencies.  Main breaks aren’t something we can prevent, but our action plans have proven to be affective. Be assured KVID strives to limit the time of outages and works diligently to restore services in the fastest and safest manner possible.


A water line break may appear simple and something that can be accomplished quickly.  For the safety of the residence and crews working on a repair it is anything but simple.