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Broken water valve raises concern in Colorado Springs neighborhood

Residents worry about waste, cost

Water Leak in NW Colorado Springs...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Residents in a northwest Colorado Springs neighborhood  learned more Thursday about the cause of a water leak and the delay in repairing it.

A broken valve at the intersection of Allegheny Drive and White Buffalo Road began leaking water last week.

It may take another week before workers fix the valve.

Colorado Springs Utilities said it can't turn the water off yet because the valve connects to a backup line supplying water to 100,000 customers, while the main line in that area is being replaced.

"We're all wondering how much money is being wasted, how much water is just going down the drain," Anna Heintzelman, a woman living near the leak, said.

But utility spokesman Steve Berry said customers won't have to pay for the wasted water.

"What we look at normally, is it causing issues to the road, is it causing damage, is it causing a big safety concern?" he said.  "We don't consider it a major leak.  Leaks are fairly common in a utility system.  The national average for water lost to leakage is around 17 percent while our average is 8 percent.

Berry said he hopes the broken valve will be replaced sometime next week.

Repairing it isn't as simple as people may think," he said.  "When people think of valves, I think they think of a spigot on your outdoor hose.  These things are huge.  They take 20 or more rotations to close or open.  Much different ballgame."

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