Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 24, 2013

Water main break causes headaches

Boil water advisory issued, customers without service

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

ASHLAND — A water main break in the area of 29th Street and Greenup Avenue has caused headaches for public works employees and water customers in Ashland.

The 12-inch cast iron water main under 29th Street broke Wednesday, forcing operators to issue a boil water advisory for several hundred customers. The boil water advisory remains in effect for the areas from 28th Street to 30th Street from Carter Avenue to Front Street, along with 55th Street, Woodspoint, Christiana Drive, Poplar Drive, Woodland Terrace, Woodward Drive and Oakwood Court.

According to water works officials, customers in the 55th Street and Woodspoint area lost water service because of low pressure affecting the 55th Street pump station. This was caused by low levels of water in the 3 million gallon DeBord tank, which helps keep pressure in the lines to serve customers at higher elevations.  

At press time, the tank was at 49 feet and rising, according to City Engineer Ryan Eastwood. About 50 feet of water in the tank is needed for the 55th Street pump station to kick on and begin working, he said. A power outage in the area, however, only exacerbated the problem.

“My guys are staying overtime at the station to bleed off the air when it starts working,” he said. When customers do get water, they need to comply with the boil water advisory, which will stretch through at least today, said Eastwood.

Customers between Winchester Avenue and Greenup along 29th Street were also without water on Thursday, according to Eastwood. A part to fix the line there will arrive today. The roadway will remain closed until at least Tuesday, he said.

Along with the water main break, which blew out the 12-inch line, a shutoff valve busted, said Eastwood.

Workers then had to shut water off in a larger area of the original break to staunch the flow of water. Eastwood said, in all, about 2 million gallons of water were lost as a result of the break.

For a system that produces about 10 million gallons a day, “two million gallons is a big portion of our production,” said Eastwood. This loss is what caused the water levels to drop inside the Debord tank and the 55th Street pump station to go offline.

Eastwood said workers were able to come up with a temporary fix in order to get water back on to most customers and to begin refilling the Debord tank. The part that arrives today to fix the 12-inch water main, should solve the problem, he said.

Paving won’t take place until early next week.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com