Rio Rancho tackling water main problems | KOB 4
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Rio Rancho tackling water main problems

Ryan Laughlin
August 21, 2018 07:35 PM

RIO RANCHO, N.M. - The aging water lines in Rio Rancho are a growing and expensive problem.

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It’s a problem many have experienced first-hand.

"One year, the water line broke in the middle of street by my driveway on the side there. And it was like a gusher ten feet high, gushing thousands of gallons of water,” said Kathy Nickerson, who lives near Zarazoga Rd SE, a street where the road and water main beneath were just replaced.

"It's nice. They finally come out and redid the whole street," Nickerson said.

The repair was part of a plan to fix water lines across the city.

"We have a water service line replacement project that is ongoing. We've replaced 4,000 water service lines out of 14,000, so we have 10,000 left, but we are working on that everyday,” said Annemarie Garcia a public information officer with Rio Rancho. "We do see a spike in the summer time because of usage. People use a lot more water in the summer time. So, we are going to see more breaks."

However, the city is seeing an increase of water main breaks year-by-year. 

In the fiscal year 2013, there were 36 water main breaks. By 2018, there were 59 main breaks and over 650 service lines breaks.

City officials said the lines were made of polyethylene, an accepted material at the time. Howver, it's now deteriorating. 

It costs around $2,000 to replace a line. With 10,000 lines still in need of replacement, it has some people anxious about where the money will come from. 

The city budgets for fixing water lines, but officials are examining water rates right now. 

The last water rate increase was in 2016. If the city raises rates again it won’t happen until July 2019. 

Credits

Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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