An estimated four-hour repair job, extended to eight or nine hours, keeping residents along Brown Bridge Road without water for much of the day Tuesday.
According to the Newton County Water and Sewer Authority, a water main line split around 4 a.m., and was diagnosed a half hour later. Once that was accomplished an emergency locate ticket was put in to find where gas lines were located.
Someone finally arrived in Newton County to locate a gas main at 10 a.m. However, according to NCWSA Director Mike Hopkins the gas location was not done accurately.
“We hit a service line, but did not break the service line,” Hopkins said.
Atlanta Gas Light was then required to come out, make the repair and inspect the nicked line.
Hopkins estimated 100-300 people were without water throughout the day, with the Windscape neighborhood off Brown Bridge Road being the main area affected. No schools or service businesses were affected.
“If that would have happened, we would have went to the school right away,” Hopkins said. “We know the impact of children not having water available.”
Hopkins said a water break is not uncommon, occurring roughly once a month, but the time it took to repair the one near Brown Bridge Road, took much longer than usual. The majority of the PVC water main lines were put in in the 1980’s, and are estimated to last “maybe 40 or 50 years,” according to Hopkins.
Ductile Iron pipes have a life expectancy of around 75 years, and began replacing the PVC line around 10 years ago.
Newton County included water main replacement in its 10-year capital improvement plan, starting in 2012, but some of the line on Brown Bridge Road has yet to be renovated. The next project under the capital improvement plan is the transmission main to supply more water to Stanton Springs. It is scheduled to begin during the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year.
“We have a fairly young system,” Hopkins said. “You do have service line leaks and some water breaks sometimes.”