Lost Water; Repair Made Early This Morning
Repairs are done at water plant.
Valve maintenance results in water line break: A water line dating from the 1950s broke during routine valve maintenance, mandated by SC DHEC, and caused a major loss of water within the City of Clinton this past weekend.
Joey Meadors, public works director, said today that a 2-inch nipple going into a 12-inch line (galvanized pipe) ruptured during the maintenance. The line is at the city’s water treatment plant, and the intense water pressure made it dangerous for workers to attempt a repair. The city decided to spend the day Saturday filling its water tanks, while the rupture continued to cause water loss, so a repair could be made Sunday night.
The repair “went flawlessly,” Meadors said. “We started about 10:30 p.m. and by 12:30 a.m. (Monday) the leak was repaired.”
To do it any other way, Meadors said, would have placed the entire city under a boil-water advisory for the weekend, and left the city with zero water pressure. Plus, even with five-six pumps working continuously, the water leak pressure was too intense to become safe for workers to make a repair.
It continued that way until city personnel could start safely shutting off other water valves, after the line ruptured Friday afternoon.
“There is a lot of demand on our system on Fridays - much less on Saturday and Sunday,” Meadors said. About midnight Friday, the city decided to let the water flow, then fill all tanks, then start shutting off valves to stem the intense water flow. Looking at city water system plans, technicians were able to find some additional valves that could be closed, once the tanks were filled, to stem the water and not put the entire water system at risk.
The line that ruptured dates from the 1950s, and its flow was changed during water plant renovations in the 1980s, Meadors said.
“We were able to reduce the pressure enough so our employees were not in jeopardy,” he said. Calculations are being made to determine how much water was lost during the event. The water flowed down Gary Street and pooled in front of the city’s water filter plant.
Also, on Facebook, the City of Clinton announced its Gary St. Recycling Center has re-opened -- open top container for cardboard ONLY, no regular trash in this container -- and provided updates on a July 22 power outage (Lydia Mill, PC, Davidson St. areas - 8:45 pm all power back on).