About 1,500 residents with no water as Kennewick Irrigation District works to prepare mainline pipes

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Kennewick Irrigation District issued an emergency for the irrigation season 2022 on Monday due to an “unprecedented number” of broken mainline pipes.

Mainlines are pipes that go from the pump station to the KID irrigation service on the customer’s property.

With numerous broken main lines in Kennewick, the Kennewick Irrigation District.

Normally, KID takes two to three weeks to flush the pipes, which is leaving 1,500 out of 25,000 Kennewick customers without water.

One of those people is Richard Caspersen.

“My water just turned on Monday. But I was worried because a lot of my neighbors’ yards are taking the water outage bad,” said Caspersen.

This emergency would allow Kennewick to bring outside assistance to repair these lines.

“I’ve heard those workers are working ten hours a day,” said Caspersen.

Jason McShane, an engineering and operations manager with Kennewick Irrigation District, says the KID teams have been working almost 7 days a week to repair the broken pipes as fast as possible.

The watering season starts once temperatures are no longer freezing. Usually, pipes are broken because of freezing temperatures and repaired by KID at the beginning of the season.

However, KID realized more damage than usual.

The cause? Contractors installing high speed internet conduits.

Outside assistance will include hiring companies who are familiar with irrigation repairs.

Contractors who installed these high-speed conduits by boring and trenchless excavations.

Boring is a cutting process that uses a single-point cutting tool or boring head to enlarge a hole in the workpiece.

Trenchless excavation uses techniques to install or replace underground infrastructure without disturbing the ground above.

Residents have complained about having to pay their irrigation bill when they have not received water due to the outages.

“We charge people a flat rate based on their property and that rate goes each month regardless of how much water you do or don’t use.” said Matthew Berglund, KID Public Relations Coordinator, “We can’t charge people based off of how much water they use because that would be a meter measurement and that is way too expensive for us to do.”

KID hopes water outages will be rectified by the end of next week.

To see if your area is affected by a water outage, check the water status map here.

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Article Source: Fox 11