News

Friday, December 27, 2013

Water Main Break in London, OH

The Columbus Dispatch reported the following after a water main break this summer:

LONDON, Ohio — More than 9,000 residents and dozens of businesses are without water in London this morning after what officials are calling “a catastrophic break” of a mainline overnight at the city’s water plant.



“Just flat out not having water anywhere is a pretty big disaster,” said London Safety-Service Director Steve Hume. “And we have contingency plans for natural disasters, but what we're finding out this morning is we hadn’t really prepared for this.”



Water Plant Supervisor Marty Colwell got the phone call between 2 and 3 a.m. that the plant was losing water pressure and water was building in the driveway.



The break is in such a spot that it didn’t take long for the pressure to go down and for everyone to lose water at once, he said.



The city of Columbus is bringing the parts needed to repair the break this afternoon, but Colwell said he has no idea how long the actual work might take.



Plus, he said, “once we get water back on, we can't turn the whole city on all at once and risk older stuff blowing out.”



So, he said, the bottom line: he has no idea how long everyone might be without water.



And no matter when it comes it back on, the city will have to boil water for most likely a couple of weeks, at a minimum.



The Ohio EPA is on site now.



The fire department was prepared. Chief Todd Eades notified all area departments to be ready to bring tankers in if the city had a call. And all morning, his firemen have been out checking old-fashioned cisterns to see which ones underground in the city still have water.



“We know what to do and we’ll do it,” Eades said. “Not a good day for anyone, but we’re ready.”



In the meantime, the city is a bit of a ghost town.



Hand-drawn and typed “Sorry, we're closed” signs have popped up everywhere from the downtown McDonald's to the courthouse.

“Well, I’ll go back and raid the fridge at the office, I guess,” said Beth Shoniker, a secretary who thought she'd run to McDonalds for lunch only to pull up at the abandoned drive-through and be greeted by a sign.


Food can always be found, however, if one looks hard enough. Toilets? That’s another matter.



“The water went completely away before anyone got to save any,” Hume said. “So bathrooms are a big problem right now.”

THIS BREAK COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED WITH A PRO-ACTIVE CONDITION-ASSESSMENT PROGRAM USING PICA'S SEE SNAKE TOOLS.

For more info on how to find and repair breaks before they happen: info@picacorp.com

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