Damaged hydrant causes flooding in NW ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A water main break has left hundreds of residents and some businesses without water and wasted tens of thousands of gallons.

Crews worked on filling the area back in with dirt and hope to have water back on for the whole Dietz Farms neighborhood and nearby businesses by Thursday afternoon.

The water authority said this has been one of their toughest fixes yet.

This water main break started around 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, when a driver hit a hydrant at a small business complex near Rio Grande and Griegos.

The water gushed out until 7 o’clock Thursday morning, when crews were finally able to get that water main shut off.

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority officials said old maps are part of the reason why it took so long.

They did not know exactly where to turn off the water main and many of the shut off points have been paved over through the years.

“A lot of times they’re not completely to scale they’re very very old and the location of the valves is essentially just an estimate on the maps,” David Morris, ABCWUA said.

Also, the break flushed a lot of water out, forcing crews to bring special trucks in to suck up and take out the water.

Several of the businesses closed early Wednesday and cut hours for employees Thursday. Most businesses are back open Thursday, but they are expecting a drop in activity.

“I think it’s going to be a really slow day in the store we’ll just do our best” Wyatt Wegrzyn, co-owner, Bookworks said.

“It’s a tough situation to not have water…you know it impacts the business, it impacts all of the team members that work here,” Jeffrey Palmer, Flying Star area manager said.

Neighbors have also had to deal with this. Many did not have water and had to get it from a nearby water station.

“Sanitation issues, health issues, just a major inconvenience,” John Paul Jones said.

Water authority crews are still working to fill the dirt that washed away in the fix and to suck up some of the left over water, which will be taken back to the water treatment plant.

Again it should be repaired in the next hour.

The water authority says there is no way they can estimate how water was spilled. Roughly, they estimate tens of thousands of gallons.

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