Perry Water Works works to repair supply line along Highway 141

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Steve Heck of the Perry Water Works operates the backhoe Tuesday morning in an effort to find a break in a line supplying water for the town. Joining in the job were, from left, Perry Water Works Superintendent Hank Schmidt, Matt Gilmore, Jeff Hix and Matt Holmes.

A crew from the Perry Water Works dug along Iowa Highway 141 east of Perry Tuesday in an effort to locate and repair a break in a water line serving the city from its wells near the Four Corners.

“It might have been a water hammer or maybe some shifting dirt,” said Perry Water Works Superintendent Hank Schmidt, speculating on the cause of the break in the line.

A water hammer is a pressure surge or wave caused when water in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly, such as when a faucet is turned off quickly.

According to the Water Works’ 2014 Consumer Confidence Report, Perry’s water supply comes in part from the sand and gravel of the North Raccoon River alluvial aquifer and in part from the sand and gravel of the Pleistocene aquifer.

“The alluvial aquifer was determined to be highly susceptible to contamination because the characteristics of the aquifer and overlying material provide little protection from contamination at the land surface,” according to the report. “The Pleistocene aquifer was determined to be slightly susceptible to contamination because the characteristics of the aquifer and overlying material provide moderate protection from contaminants at the land surface.”

The wells near the intersection of U.S. Highway 169 and Iowa Highway 141 draw water from the Pleistocene aquifer.

“Perry’s alluvial wells will be highly susceptible to surface contamination such as leaking underground storage tanks, contaminant spills and excess fertilizer application,” according to the report. “The Pleistocene wells will be slightly susceptible to surface contamination such as leaking underground storage tanks, contaminant spills, and excess fertilizer application.”

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