By Ed Martin, Editor
City officials closed off part of Hill Street on Friday after discovering a potentially troublesome water leak.
City officials closed off part of Hill Street on Friday after discovering a potentially troublesome water leak.

Lemoore city officials, responding on Friday (Feb. 3) to a homeowner’s concerns about the loss of water services at his home on Hill and C streets, discovered an underground pipe leak, which if left unchecked, could have led to a dangerous sinkhole in downtown Lemoore.

Fortunately for surrounding residents, Lemoore public works' officials, with the aid of an engineering firm, Rockeez Engineering, quickly pinpointed the source of the leak and worked quickly to fix it, digging up the street, repairing the pipe and then dumping some 200 tons of base rock and 25 tons of sand into the hole surrounding the new pipe.

Lemoore Public Works Director Nathan Olson told The Leader that the local resident had been concerned about low water pressure at his home on Hill Street. He finally called and said he didn’t have any water at all.

City officials, prompted by homeowner, find leaking pipe on Hill Street, quickly fix

Olson said that they ended up checking an in-ground lawn meter and discovered it full of water, indicating a break. “Once they pulled that they saw water flowing,” said Olson. “It had been going on for a while. We knew we had a break.”

They discovered the leak on the east side of Hill Street, brought in a backhoe and dug up the ground to find the leaking pipe. “We dug it up. We shut the water off. We (knew) it had been leaking for some time,” said Olson.

Once excavated, local officials were surprised to see a cavern located beneath the road, where the water had apparently soaked the ground.

Early Saturday morning Rockeez Engineering began fixing the pipe. They were forced to dig down some 10-12 feet because the ground was so wet. After repairing the pipe, the base rock and sand were poured into the hole to stabilize the road and the water pipe.

Olson said that, if left unchecked, the road eventually could have collapsed, causing a dangerous sinkhole. Rockeez, in the last couple of days, has been busy compacting the soil. Olson indicated he hoped to have the road finished, with a new overlay of asphalt within two weeks.

Olson suggested the scope of the work could cost the city approximately $40 to $42 thousand in repair costs.