Hot, dry holiday

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It was a long, hot and definitely dry holiday weekend for residents of the 3000 block of South Third Street in Ironton.

A break in the main 10-inch line that services half-dozen homes and several businesses cut off all water there, starting Friday afternoon.

And if Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship has his way, it will be the last time that line breaks. Last week Blankenship was notified by the Ohio EPA that the city has received a grant of approximately $7 million that can be used for water line and water meter replacement.

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James Hern, of 3608 S. Third St., who moved into his home March of 2009, said this is the fourth time he has been seriously affected by the water line break.

“I’m talking about going all weekend without water,” Hern said. “To have it off for three or four days, it is monotonous.”

On Sunday, Hern, who lives with his children at the South Third Street address, temporarily moved to the Grandview Inn in order to have a place to bathe.

He noticed low pressure Friday morning and had no water by noon that day.

“We shouldn’t have to go without water,” he said.

Brett Guy of Guy’s Floor Covering said there was water during Friday at the business, but on opening Saturday morning there was none.

This is the fifth or sixth time for him to be without water since he moved his business to that end of Third Street from its downtown location at 222 S. Third St.

Mayor Rich Blankenship, who was out of town for the holiday weekend, was unaware of the problem until Monday morning, when he began investigating the situation.

There are two lines — a 6-inch and a 10-inch — that run down that part of South Third Street, the mayor said. The homes and businesses in that area are on the larger line.

“We have been talking about taking them off that main, 10-inch-line and putting them on the 6-inch line,” Blankenship said. “It keeps breaking all the way up Third Street. It keeps snapping. I would like to replace the whole line. … I don’t know why it keeps breaking, if it’s age or wear and tear.”

Crews were called out on Monday around 1 p.m. to repair the line and were on the scene for about five hours.

“It was a difficult dig,” Blankenship said. “It was between two railroad tracks. Right in the middle of those is where they made the repair.”

Also at the site is a fiber optics line that made digging in the area difficult. The mayor plans to meet with council to go over his priority list for use of the grant money.

“We were awarded 70 percent of the cost. Our share would be 30 percent,” he said about the grant. “We will have to work it out and see what council wants to do. I think it is important, imperative, we get that line replaced.”