POINT PLEASANT — A mainline water break has been repaired in Point Pleasant, though those affected are being asked to boil their water upon further notice.
A boil water advisory has been issued for those in Point Pleasant who lost water Thursday during the outage. Those who lost water were typically from 15th Street south and out to W.Va. 2 North on Ripley Road to the area of Steinburgen Hill. This includes Highland Avenue, Kingtown and Neal Road, and possibly others within the city limits. Not all residents in these areas of the city lost water. It’s estimated around 250 customers were affected.
The City of Point Pleasant issued the boil water advisory due to the possibility the water could have contaminants or bacteria, though no testing has been done to confirm this. City officials say they are simply following protocol when this type of situation arises.
Steve Gardner, water superintendent for the City of Point Pleasant, delivered water samples taken after the repair to the state department of health’s lab in South Charleston on Friday with the hopes of getting the results by 10 a.m. Saturday morning. If for some reason the sample does not pass, it would be Monday before the lab would be open and available to accept a new sample.
According to the Mason County Health Department, bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, let it cool before using or use bottle water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, bathing and food preparation until it has been reported that the water tests show no contamination.
The mainline water break occurred Thursday morning when personnel with the West Virginia Division of Highways were core drilling for a future bridge replacement project. The bridge being replaced is just past McDonald’s near the intersection of 6th Street and W.Va. 2.
According to Mayor Brian Billings, the drilling accidentally hit an eight-inch cast iron line buried around 12 feet deep. The city was able to contact contractor Mike Enyart and Sons, who worked on the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project to come to the area with its specialized equipment. As of Thursday evening, crews were working to flush the water out of the area so the pipe could be repaired, which it eventually was with water service returning to most of those affected by Friday morning.
Crews from the water and sewer department with the City of Point Pleasant were called off their regular duties to work on the leak as well and remained on the scene. Also on the scene were workers with WVDOH and the Point Pleasant Police Department.
Also on Friday, a separate water leak occurred in another location on 6th Street, which Gardner said was related to the break on Thursday night. He said due to depressurizing lines, when water re-enters, it can reveal weak spots in existing lines. As of 5 p.m. Friday, crews with the city had been working on water leaks for 34 straight hours and continued to work on the line at 6th Street into the evening with the PPPD blocking off the area to traffic.
Fire hydrants in the affected area from Thursday’s mainline water break were being flushed.
Billings said the incident Thursday was simply an accident and the state would be paying for the repairs and the expense of calling in the special contractor. He also said he, along with City Clerk Amber Tatterson and those in the water and sewer departments and city government, appreciated all the various organizations working together to get the situation resolved.
Gardner said he would alert local media outlets as soon as the boil water advisory was lifted. The Point Pleasant Register will post this information on its website www.mydailyregister.com and on its Facebook page as soon as it’s available. An announcement will also run in the next print edition.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.