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New Waterline to Increase Reliability, Promote Expansion

LAWTON, Okla_Have you found yourself stuck in traffic on Lee Boulevard on the east side of Lawton lately?

Workers are installing a new water line to improve the reliability of our water system.

City officials say, until now, too much importance has been put on a smaller, less sturdy line, but thanks to a decision made by the voters back in 2005, a new line is being laid to insure no matter what the situation, water keeps flowing to your faucets.

Public Works Director Jerry Ihler promises the inconvenience on the roads is a small price to pay for what we'll be gaining.

This new pipeline's importance is two-fold. Yes, it will help shore up the reliability of the water system here in town, but with this new line also comes the possibility of more expansion on the east side of town.

Over 2 miles of pipeline has been strung along Lee Boulevard for about a month, and now a huge hole sits just west of I-44, but it's all for a very good reason.

"We've had a lot of maintenance problems. It's an old line on Lee Boulevard. We've had a lot of breaks, " Jerry Ihler said.

He's talking about the current, 10-inch wide pipeline that's in bad need of repair.

It works in conjunction with a bigger 24-inch pipeline, but in the past, like in 2008, when the 24-inch line flooded, there was too high of a demand on the 10-inch pipeline, and the community suffered.

"We only had one ten-inch line getting water to the citizens on the east side, and in fact, we had to ration and boil water for a period of time with very little pressure on the east side, " Ihler said.

Once fully installed, this new pipeline will increase the amount of water that's pumped out on a daily basis at a higher pressure. It'll also help reinforce the ability to get water from one side of town to the other in the event that one of the plants is out of service.

"With this line and the Southeast Water Treatment Plant it just gives us a much more reliable system overall, and it allows us to take water back and forth, if you will, if one plant is down, " said Ihler.

And that more reliable water system serves as the most basic infrastructure towards expansion on the east side of Lawton.

This coupled with another upcoming sewer line project means developers can soon start looking east.

"In the 2012 CIP, there are funds for sewer line expansion. 9 Mile Creek Sewer Line, which would open up for expansion of the east side. So with the combination of those projects, yes, it will allow for growth."

This new pipeline will run from Flower Mound Road all the way west of I-44 to 2nd Street and then continue on to 4th Street and Washington.

It will have the capacity to pump nearly 5 million gallons of water a day. They expect this project be finished in about nine months.

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