February 26 City Commissioner’s Meeting


On Monday, February 26, Mayor DeFever and the city commissioners held their last meeting for the month.

The first item on the agenda was a report on the aquaduct repair located between Pampa and Borger presented by Drew Satterwhite, General Manager of the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.

A leak was discovered along the pipe that runs through Dixon Creek a few miles east of Borger, and because the leak happened to be at the highest pressure point of the aquaduct in its 400 miles of length, the sense of urgency was immediate.

With Dixon Creek being half a mile wide and the pipe being at the very bottom of it, Satterwhite and his crew had the task of digging through sand while trying to de-water the area.

“This was unlike anything we’ve ever done before, like digging in quicksand,” Satterwhite said.

“Since we’re digging down trying to find the pipe, you can’t dig deeper with the excavator and take a scoop of soil out because the soil beside it comes down, so the hole keeps getting bigger in diameter and you never really get deeper. So it kind of forced us to go outside the box.”

To help with the excavation, the crew brought in TXDot base material composed mainly of clay that helped seal off the movement of the sand as they dug further to get to the pipe.

Once the pipe was uncovered, the concealment of the leak was conducted by a team of skilled welders: but the work wasn’t over once they discovered there was a second leak downstream. 

The location of the second leak was far from the spectrum of a simple fix as it sat upon a massive hill under soil that had been previously excavated, which can be dangerous.

“At that point, we went to the ‘war room’ and we had dozens and dozens of conversations with engineers and contractors across the state of Texas,” Satterwhite said.

He went over the ideas that they had, as well as the cost, safety and efficiency of fixing something of that magnitude.

The solution ended up installing a slipline from the pipe and the joint, again using the skills of the welding crew fusing together 600 feet of the pipe.

“It was extremely quick how fast that process was,” he said with Gary Turley, Director of Public Works for the City of Pampa in agreement.

“This was a bear of a project, but the good news is we have 600 feet of this pipe that would have been very expensive for us to go back in and fix the next leak whether that’s ten or 20 years from now. We won’t have to worry about it.”

“They worked tirelessly to find different solutions and stayed in contact with me every other day about different things and had some awesome ideas,” Turley said.

“It was a very dangerous area to be in.”

The next item to be discussed was the fourth quarter financial report presented by Theresa Daniels with nothing out of the ordinary and numbers on their projected track.

The remaining items on the agenda included: approving the loan between the Pampa Economic Development Center and Sam’s Southern Eatery, reauthorizing the building permit fees charged by the City of Pampa, the authorization of the City Manager to enter into an Interlocal Cooperation Contract for the Failure to Appear Program between the City of Pampa and the Texas Department of Public Safety, the appointment of Laycee Johnson to the Pampa Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors, and the authorization for the City Manager to enter into a Municipal Maintenance Agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation: all were approved and the commission convened into a closed executive session.