The City of Hamilton water department was noticing literally millions of gallons of water leaking from a supply line that stretches from a water tank on Golf Course Road east of Hamilton, along Big Corral Road, before heading into town. So, early this spring a major project started to replace the line with modern pipe (see photo below) and stop the leaks. What they found underground was ancient, leaky wooden pipeline, banded in steel - a lot of it (see photo above). The city purchased the water system from a private company years ago and since then have replaced wooden lines elsewhere in town.

Timing was critical, with portions of the line passing under irrigation ditches that were empty as the digging began, but soon were to be filled with water. The crews worked steadily and completed the sections that interfered with the irrigation channels which, in the last couple of weeks, have begun running full as growing season gets underway in the Bitterroot Valley. The water project started at the East Side Highway and is continuing to move south, in sight of the finish at Golf Course Road. During this time, only local traffic has been allowed on Big Corral Lane. And, until the project is complete, traffic is being detoured onto the parallel Kurtz Lane nearby.

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New water main alongside the final stretch of the project. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)[/caption]