Hundreds lose water after Milligan line break
Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Hundreds of customers in Elizabethton lost water service Wednesday after a large water line broke around 9 a.m. in the Happy Valley area.
Johan Coetzee, director of utilities for the City of Elizabethton, estimated that the line break affected 500 to 600 customers and said water service would be interrupted for several hours.
The broken line was near the intersection of Milligan Highway and Oakmont Drive.
“We were repairing a water leak when the entire line blew out during the process,” Coetzee said. “Unfortunately, to isolate this line, we have to turn off the water to a large area. The problem is you have to isolate the entire area so you can get the line dead so you can work on it.” The line that broke was a “high-pressure 6-inch line,” he said.
Crews were on scene Wednesday morning to complete repairs, but Coetzee said that is only part of the process to restoring water service to those affected.
“Repairing it is only the first step,” he said. “It will take us three to four hours to repair, then we have to flush the system for the whole area that was shut down. We need to do bacteriological testing.
“Flushing the system will cause customers to not have water or have inadequate pressure for a while after it has been repaired.”
The interruption to service lasted several hours for those customers affected by the water line break. At 3 p.m. Wednesday, crews were flushing the lines out as part of the service restoration process.
“Our big concern, of course, is it is Thanksgiving and we know our customers need water,” he said. “We are working very hard to get this completed as soon as possible.”
The following areas were affected: a section of Old Elizabethton Highway, Dave Buck Road, Central Community, Milligan Highway from Happy Valley Elementary School back toward Elizabethton, Powder Branch Road, Golf Course Acres and West Links. Coetzee said customers in those areas have either lost water service or are experiencing low water pressure.