News

Cold snap leads to water main breaks in Louisville

1/09/2015 | Louisville, Kentucky

Several burst pipes sent crews scrambling to make repairs on Friday morning.

As the temperature goes down, the number of water main breaks here in Louisville goes up.

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Line Break Causes Brown Water

6/24/2013 | Sitka, Alaska

A 12-inch water pipeline sprang a leak over the weekend, causing some residents to find dirt in their tap water. City environmental superintendent Mark Buggins said crews worked through the night Saturday to repair the damaged section of the pipe that runs water toward the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park.“We had our guys up there late Saturday night working to replace the line ... they didn’t get home until about 8 Sunday morning,” Buggins said.

He said the leak may have been caused by blasting for the Sawmill Creek Road project that caused the pipe to shift. Scott Link, a project engineer with the road contractor, QAP, said the company is investigating, and would have no comment until the cause of the damage is discovered.QAP has been blasting rock along the inland side of Sawmill Creek Road between Whale Park and the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. Blasting will continue until August.

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Water line break in Homewood Wednesday; water shoots into air

6/26/2013 | Homewood, Alabama

HOMEWOOD, AL - A break in a water line has crews working to repair the break Wednesday.

The break was seen in Homewood about 8:45am CT on 18th Street South, between Rosedale Drive, and Valley Avenue. Water was shooting at least 30 feet into the air.Crew members from the Birmingham Water Works were on the scene, using a backhoe to fix the break.

The BWW says crews were there digging a tap for a fire hydrant, when a water line was struck, causing the leak. One lane of traffic on 18th Street South was blocked, to allow crews room to work.Crews should have the leak fixed by 10:00am CT.

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Water line breaks likely caused by maintenance

6/20/2013 | Circleville, Ohio

CIRCLEVILLE — The water main breaks seen recently around the city are due to usual maintenance of the pipes and are of no concern to public health, according to Nathan Anderson, public utilities director.“The water is always safe,” Anderson said. “The water is pressurized out and flows through the pipes, and there have never been issues with that.”

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South Park Ave Reopened After Water Main Break

6/24/2013 | Buffalo, New York

BUFFALO, NY - South Park Avenue from Spaulding Street to Alamo Street was closed for most of the day Sunday while workers tried to figure out what caused a water main break that cut off water to residents in the area. South Park was reopened around 1am.It's not known if the break is connected to an earlier line break that occurred farther north on South Park, near the intersection of Boone Street.

City Commissioner of Public Works Steve Stempniak was on the scene all day. By Sunday night water service was being restored to customers, according to a City of Buffalo spokesperson.

Meanwhile, it appears that the water fountain in Gates Circle has been damaged, and water has flooded the walkway surrounding the holding pool. The city has also put up a barrier to block off some broken stairs at the fountain.

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Sinkholes and Sewage Plague Harrisburg Neighborhood

6/17/2013 | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Since the huge sinkholes opened on the 2100 block of N. 4th Street in Harrisburg in January, neighbors say sewage has permeated the air and occasionally flooded their basements.“The real bad smell in the morning and at night, like when it gets really, really hot outside, there’s a really bad smell,” said Jenefer Casiano who lives on the block.Some neighbors believe there’s a direct connection between the work the city did to repair the aging lines that gave way this winter. But, Kevin Hagerich, the head of the city’s public works department said Monday that’s not necessarily the case.

Hagerich pointed to the face that the pipes in the street were over 100 years old when they failed. He said some of the homeowners’ pipes may be in similar condition and their responsibility to fix. He also pointed to recent heavy rainfall creating a backup.“So, if our street’s starting to fail, some of their plumbing’s starting to fail,” said Hagerich.City Councilor Sandra Reid held a meeting Monday aimed at getting a clearer idea of what’s creating the sewage issue.“Not that we’re responsible, the city’s not taking any responsibility or liability,” said Reid. “There’s no indication from the city’s standpoint that the replacement of the line is the sole reason why (the sewage) came.”Councilor Susan Brown-Wilson called the situation “strange.” She went on to say, “And there should be no backup in those homes because those homes have been there. They’ve never had a problem before.”

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Could Take Days to repair Hole In 138th Ave.

6/13/2013 | Tampa, Florida

Tampa officials said it may be more than a week until repairs are complete on a hole that formed at 138th Avenue east of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard on Wednesday.The hole was caused by a broken 36-inch gravity sewer. First suspected to be a sinkhole, officials at the City of Tampa Wastewater Department said there is no evidence to indicate the presence of a sinkhole or any erosion causing the hole.

It’s now thought the hole was caused when gases formed acid, corroding part of the iron walls of the sewer, creating a hole that enabled soil surrounding the pipe and supporting the roadway to make its way into the wastewater system, causing a cave-in, officials said.

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San Benito facing costly repairs

6/14/2013 | San Benito, Texas

SAN BENITO — Projects to rebuild streets have uncovered many expensive surprises, City Manager Manuel Lara said Thursday.Street projects have been separated into four sections of town with the most problems found in the historic downtown area, the city manager said. Water and sewer lines and other structures will need repair or replacement, he said.“As we started working in there, we discovered the sewer line was clay pipe,” Lara said of a section of Ratliff Street.“It was very brittle and it started breaking on us and then we opened up the manholes and we found out they are the old type made out of brick and those are also in pretty bad condition. Also, we located a water service line that’s older.”

Ratliff Street is a high-traffic street, Lara said.“It was a little bit more than we could handle so we felt like we needed to expedite it during the summer,” he said.Engineers are being hired to help speed up the process of replacing utility lines before the city rebuilds the street, Lara said.“We’re coming across some pretty old infrastructure in the historic part of town,” he said.Engineer Victor Gutierrez was authorized on Tuesday to complete design and bidding specifications for the broken utility structures on Ratliff Street. The historic section of town will be expensive to rebuild, Lara said.

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Salem lines cause woes in Salem Twp

6/22/2013 | Salem, Pennsylvania

SALEM TWP. — It’s been about five years and some still hold out. The state-mandated sewer system which runs about four miles from Confers Lane into East Berwick was installed between 2008 and 2009 and some residents haven’t hooked up, saying the government should not dig so deep into residents’ pockets.The state Department of Environmental Protection called for the sewer system because septic systems were draining through the Shickshinny area’s sandy earth into the Susquehanna River. Township solicitor Anthony McDonald said he approached some residents who claimed they had not pumped out their septic tanks in over 50 years.“Where does that tell you the sewage is going?” he asked them.

The Berwick Area Joint Sewer Authority billed residents $1,650 to hook up. Hook-up was mandatory for those whose homes were within 150 feet of the new pipes, McDonald said.Residents would then have to pay around an additional $1,000 to $2,000 for a contractor to connect their pipes to the line, according to one resident, Patty McGraw, 71, who is on a payment plan to take care of her hook-up fee. Property owners pay a regular sewer bill of $56 per month for each individual dwelling unit.“I pay ‘em $25 a month. That’s all I got,” McGraw said of her payment plan. She said the bills in the township’s Beech Haven neighborhood hurt the generally older population.“It’s a shame. We’re all old people living down here,” McGraw said.

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Clogged pipe blamed for A's stadium sewage backup

6/20/2013 | Oakland, California

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A clogged pipe was to blame for a sewage backup at the Oakland A's stadium over the weekend that created a stink and pools of water in the clubhouses used by the A's, the visiting Seattle Mariners and the umpires.The two teams were forced to share the Raiders' locker room a floor above the baseball clubhouses after Sunday's game.The Oakland Tribune reports

That officials found an unidentifiable mass in a sewer line. A's Vice President of Stadium Operations Dave Rinetti says the mass has been cleared, and everything is expected to be in order for the A's next home game onTuesday.A's spokesman Bob Rose says the carpets in the clubhouses are being replaced while the A's are on a 7-game road trip.

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Fitchburg water service restored after break in old line

6/19/2013 | Fitchburg, Massachusetts

FITCHBURG — Water service to all of the city’s customers has been restored after a massive water break Monday near the intersection of Cleghorn and Federal Street.Water Commissioner Denis Meunier said most of the customers’ service was restored in two hours, except for those in higher elevations, where pipes needed to be cleared. Although customers were expected to experience some rusty water, it should clear out fairly quickly.

Mr. Meunier said the site of the break in the 12-inch main was fortunate. Although the break occurred near the center of town, it was in a wooded area, he said. It was not near residences, which could have been flooded or damaged when at least 1 million gallons of water poured up from under ground, damaging the road andsidewalks.The waterline was 93 years old. Mr. Meunier said he believes it was an isolated problem involving an old water line.

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Boil water advisory rescined for portions of Dawson Street, Wrightsville Avenue

6/11/2013 | Wilmington, North Carolina

UPDATE: The following boil water advisory was rescinded Wednesday morning.A boil water advisory has been issued for areas near the intersection of Dawson Street and Wrightsville Avenue in Wilmington.Three water main breaks that occurred Monday afternoon have resulted in periods of low or no pressure for the affected areas, according to a notice from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. The breaks occurred on the same water line, which is more than 60 years old.

Repair work will affect approximately 80 to 120 customers living in the 1900 to 2000 blocks of Dawson Street Extension, including Trolley Path, and the 2200 to 2400 blocks of Wrightsville Avenue.Because of the size of the affected area, CFPUA has been using New Hanover County’s emergency notification system to alert those affected.“Periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system elevate the risk for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system,” the notice states. “Therefore, CFPUA advises that, when water service is restored, the residents at the above addresses boil their water for at least one full minute prior to human consumption until otherwise notified by CFPUA.”

Human consumption includes cooking, making ice, drink mixing, food preparation and hand washing. Affected customers do not need to boil water prior to using it for bathing, CFPUA said.The boil water advisory will be in effect until water quality testing has occurred and service is returned to normal. When testing is completed—typically within 24 hours, CFPUA said—and service is returned to normal, updates will be provided via hand-delivered notice, CFPUA’s website and/or area media outlets. 

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Water Main Break Sends Gushing Water Through Martinez Neighborhood

6/06/2013 | Martinez, California

MARTINEZ (CBS SF) - A 14-inch water main ruptured in Martinez early Thursday morning, sending water gushing down streets in a neighborhood near downtown, a city engineer said.The main break broke near Jones and Berrellesa streets around 5 a.m. Crews arrived at 6 a.m. and were able to shut off the flow of water to the line, city engineer Tim Tucker said.The line is connected to the Thomas Hill Reservoir, which is uphill from Jones Street, Tucker said.The break and the ensuing rush of water underground caused the asphalt on Jones Street to lift up, he said. No homes were flooded but mud ended up on a few front lawns.

Residents are still able to maneuver their vehicles to and from their driveways with ease, he said.Water service was disrupted between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. for residents in an area bordered by Henrietta Street to the north, Castro Street to the east, Haven Street to the south and Richardson Street to the west, Tucker said.However, crews were able to isolate the ruptured line and restore service through parallel lines, he said.

All residents but one now have their water service back, Tucker said.Crews are at the scene doing excavation work to expose the water line, Tucker said.The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District examined sewer infrastructure located down Jones Street to assess whether it was affected by the water main break, but it wasn’t, Tucker said.Crews will seal up the street overnight, and a contractor will be hired to repave it in the next few days, he said.Police closed the 300 block of Jones Street while crews hoped to have the line repaired by 5 p.m., Tucker said.

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Weather wreaks havoc on water lines

2/02/2013 | Springfield, Ohio

Water line breaks have surged this year because of wildly fluctuating temperatures, leading to overtime expenses and costly repairs for local governments and schools.The Springfield, Urbana and Clark County water departments, as well as the Greenon Local and Northwestern Local school districts, have all dealt with water line problems in the last month.While decades-old water lines are a factor in many cases, the weather also plays a significant role.“When it’s 35 (degrees) one day, 9 the next and 35 the next day it causes problems,” said Robert Munch, superintendent of the Urbana Water Division.In Urbana, city water crews have already repaired nine water line breaks this year, Munch said.

At its current pace, Munch estimated Urbana would handle as many as 120 breaks in a single year. Last Tuesday, Urbana crews handled three breaks in a single day.Springfield already had 17 water line leaks in 2013 as of Friday. Last year, the city had just 29 leaks for the year, in part because of the mild winter. The record for breaks in one year was 62 in 2003, Chris Moore, the city’s service director, said.Clark County has had six water main leaks this year, said Clark County Department of Utilities Deputy Director Chuck Bauer.

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Cold causes water line break

2/01/2013 | Stillwater, Minnesota

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Bitter cold overnight temperatures are believed to have caused a broken water line early today in the area of Panama and 63rd streets, according to city officials.City Administrator Eric Johnson said a Public Works Department crew located the break in the 15000 block of 63rd Street and were working this morning to repair the line.“It was shut off about 7 a.m.,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we’ll get it fixed by noon today.”Johnson estimates that about 10 to 20 homes in the area of the break had their water service shut off while crews repair the line.The water line break occurred on one of the coldest mornings of the winter with area temperatures around 13 below at 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen.Much of eastern and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin were under an NWS wind chill advisory until noon today.

NWS weather forecasters said the combination of cold and wind produced wind chill readings of 25 below and lower.“Dangerously cold wind chills of minus 25 to minus 35 degrees will continue this morning across the region,” said an NWS statement. “Frost bite and hypothermia are possible if precautions are not taken.”The statement added that anyone going outside today should wear a hat and gloves to protect against the cold.NWS forecasters said cold air would remain over the St. Croix Valley today with a high struggling into the low single digits above zero.

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