Nixon preps for future water emergencies


Nixon took steps Monday, Feb. 10 to both prepare for and prevent future waterline-related incidents. The council approved the purchase of a trash pump on trailer and discussed accessibility of the city’s utility site map.

These council resolutions and discussions come after the city suffered a “major water leak” on Thursday, Feb. 6. According to City Administrator Harold Rice, workers with Hood Communications installing fiber optics at Nixon-Smiley High School struck an eight-inch waterline while digging a hole which caused the major leak. The incident forced the city to momentarily close West 3rd St. from Rancho Rd. to Highway 80 and shut off portions of the city’s water.

The city did not initially have the proper equipment to handle the leak which resulted in an over 21-hour repair to the burst line. Rice said the company responsible for the burst did supply four vacuum trucks to assist in the repair and agree to halt all future digging until further notice.

“The reason why it lasted 21 hours was because they couldn’t get a pump to pump it down to work on it,” Alderman Justin La Fleur told council. La Fleur and Mayor Dorothy Riojas said they were there onsite of the repair.

The council motioned to allow Rice to spend up to $17,000 from the pumps and motors fund in the city budget to purchase a diesel-powered trash pump. The motion passed unanimously by all present alder members.

The council opted for the diesel-power pump over the more inexpensive gas-powered one because of issues with longevity from the gas-powered device. Gas-powered devices can have issues with corrosion if the fuel is left sitting in the engine.

“All the gas stuff that we’ve bought, we’ve bought little three-inch pumps and they’ve all gone bad just because of that gas issue,” Utilities Foreman Jeremy Bustos said. “I know it’s a lot of money and here we are again, and I’m all for saving money, but I don’t think it’s worth it when we just had this problem fighting a pump more than we were fighting the water.”

Also discussed by the council was the accessibility of the city’s utility site map. The water and sewer map are currently under the process of being updated by BEFCO Engineering.