City workers work in rain to repair water main break
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Sections of pipe are pounded into place in conditions that are less than favorable. Workers slosh through ankle-deep mud created by a steady rainfall.
A pump runs constantly trying to keep rain water from collecting in the pit where the repairs are being made.
"Certainly, this is not normal for us to be working in the rain, however, due to the seriousness of this water break, we had to get out here and we're staying with it until we get done with it," said Public Works Director, Dan Gaillet.
The old concrete piping is being replaced with industrial iron pipe. City officials say apparently shifting soil cracked the entire circumference of one section of the water main and caused the leak.
Mayor Harvey Johnson says officials knew about it for weeks but made no knee-jerk decisions about the repair.
"We knew we had a leak because of the water that was accumulating. But when you have a 42-inch pipe, you don't just start digging and busting into the ground trying to repair the leak.We had to go through an assessment of the kind of impact it was going to cause," Johnson said.
The situation is bad but city officials say it could have been worse.
"If we had actually waited until it had blown-out, we could have been in a serious situation as far as trying to get the water supply to the rest of the city," Gaillet added.
The repair work is on schedule. A flushing procedure should begin sometime late Saturday or early Sunday morning. Unless the weather worsens or some other unexpected problem comes up, most people with low pressure or no water should have that restored by sometime before mid-day Sunday.
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