Park City water lines break, continuing string of problems |

Park City water lines break, continuing string of problems

Water rushes out of a break close to the intersection of Park Avenue and Heber Avenue at a little bit before 5 p.m. on July 5, one of a series of waterworks problems reported in Park City last week. Officials blamed the break on a corroded valve.
Photo by Guy Harper

Park City last week suffered additional waterworks problems in the weeks after a series of earlier issues as the authorities fielded reports in places like Thaynes Canyon, Old Town, Park Meadows and the Deer Valley Drive corridor.

The problems were especially notable in Thaynes Canyon. The Park City Police Department received complaints from people along Thaynes Canyon Drive over the course of several days. A Park City official said the infrastructure in Thaynes Canyon is aging with pipes in the neighborhood dating to the 1970s. Clint McAffee, the public utilities director for City Hall, said some of the failures are based on the age of the pipes.

The break in Thaynes Canyon led to the loss of approximately 100 gallons per minute at some points, McAffee said. He estimated as much as 150,000 gallons flowed out per day during the several days before the break was repaired. The 150,000 gallons represents a small percentage of the 18.6 million gallons per day the system is able to produce at this time of year.

“It was just bubbling out of the road a couple days,” he said.

A cause was not immediately determined.

Police Department logs show the surfacing water caught the attention of Parkites, who notified the authorities of the issue. The reports were fielded on July 4-7. Some of the cases logged by the police included:

• on Saturday, July 7 at 8:39 a.m. on Thaynes Canyon Drive close to the Park City Golf Club. The police were told there was water “coming down the gutter flowing good, numerous gallons per minute,” according to department logs.

• on July 7 at 12:18 a.m., water was seen bubbling up from a sidewalk on Thaynes Canyon Drive.

• on Friday, July 6 at 8:10 a.m., water was seen gushing, apparently into a gutter, in Thaynes Canyon.

There were other cases along Thaynes Canyon Drive involving reports of a water break on a sidewalk. The Police Department also logged complaints of problems elsewhere, including the possibility of a burst water line along Deer Valley Drive early in the afternoon on July 4 and bubbling water on Hackney Court on July 5.

There was also a break close to the intersection of Park Avenue and Heber Avenue early in the evening on July 5, a tightly packed area of Old Town a block off Main Street. A photograph from the scene provided by a witness shows the water bubbling up from the ground as it pools.

McAffee said the break on July 5 close to the Park Avenue-Heber Avenue intersection, blamed on a corroded valve, occurred as crews were replacing a waterworks meter box on Sampson Avenue, also in Old Town. The Sampson Avenue work needed to be completed in a timely fashion based on a repaving project. The workers had to remain at that location before addressing the break close to the intersection, he said.

The problems during the first days of July occurred less than a month after an earlier string of cases, including a major line break that caused extensive flooding at a hotel. Some of the earlier cases included problems on Deer Valley Loop Road, Estates Drive, Arabian Drive and Heber Avenue. Some of the cases involved issues with sprinkler systems on private property rather than municipal lines on public property.

The June 21 line break that caused the damage at the Silver King Hotel involved approximately 100,000 gallons and caused extensive flooding. Officials maintain the water issues throughout Park City are not related. They say the waterworks system is divided into a series of pressure zones. The problems have been reported across several of the zones, meaning they are likely unrelated, the officials say.

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