Water line break had far-reaching effect

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

Some Lawrence Countians woke up to more trouble than just snowy weather on Wednesday.

Some in the western end, those who get their water from Portsmouth or Scioto Water, didn’t have any running water for their morning shower.

The trouble was that a main line out of the Portsmouth Water Filtration Plant burst overnight.

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George Howard, the assistant director of Portsmouth Water Works, said he wasn’t sure how many people were affected by the broken water line. He said everyone east of the filtration plant was without water. That includes Sciotoville to the Scioto County line and part of Lawrence County to at least County Road 1A.

“I think I’ve talked to every one of them today, so it is quite a few,” he said on Wednesday afternoon.

He said he wasn’t sure what caused the line to break.

“It was just one of those things, no rhyme or reason for it breaking,” he said.

Rick Bates, the distribution superintendent, had crews working on fixing the 24-inch main line.

He said he didn’t think it was cold that caused the line to break since the ground hasn’t frozen hard enough to shift.

He said the filtration plant was without electricity for a while on Tuesday night and when the power came back on it may have caused a surge of water into the system.

“It could have found a weak spot in the line and blew it out,” Bates said.

He said crews cut the broken section out of the cast iron line and replaced it on Wednesday.

“It’s like splicing a wire,” he said.

The repairs were completed Wednesday afternoon.