Between 50 and 60 Moundsville Water Department customers were without water service for several hours Monday, and a section of First Street had to be shut down so department employees could repair the damage.
"One of our (water) plant operators noticed one of our water tanks was running low," said William Dove, Moundsville Water Department superintendent, as crews worked at the intersection of First Street and Grant Avenue on Monday morning.
Part of the road had to be torn open to give crews access to the underground waterline and allow them to investigate the cause of the break.
Photo by Daniel Dorsch
Moundsville Water Department crews work to repair a waterline break at the intersection of Grant Avenue and First Street.
Dove said the waterline under First Street is connected to one of three main feeds for the city.
He also said the 12-inch line feeds the local water reservoir.
"We've got it under control now," Dove said. "But we're looking at 50 to 60 customers without water for a few hours depending on what we find down there."
Dove estimated it would take eight hours to restore water service to customers, and probably another seven hours to get everything fixed and cleaned up. He also said about 1 million gallons of water were lost over the course of the morning.
Dove said his department contacted bulk customer Public Service District No. 4 to inform officials of break.
He said PSD4 planned to draw from Washington Lands water service until the Moundsville waterline is back in working order.
According to Dove, the exact cause of the break had yet to be determined late Monday, but he has noticed an increasing number of waterline breaks along First Street in recent years since heavy vehicle traffic has increased on the road, partly due to gas drilling.
The Moundsville Water Department is looking for financial assistance, Dove said, to make it possible to replace the entire First Street waterline, which stretches all the way to the intersection of Pine Street and U.S. 250.
An water rate hike would be necessary to make the replacement possibly, though, Dove said. Moundsville Water Department customers would have to pay about 12 cents more for every 1,000 gallons used to make Moundsville eligible for a state grant to fund the project, according to research done by Bel-O-Mar Regional Council.