City crews working to repair ‘major break’ in water line

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Brookhaven officials hope to have a West Congress Street waterline repaired today following a “major break” Monday.

Lanny Dickey, water department superintendent, said the linesplit around noon Monday. After getting a clamp installed earlyTuesday, he said crews planned to replace the cast iron pipe with60 feet of plastic pipe today.

“I hope we can get it in here by dinner,” Dickey said thismorning.

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Dickey cited age, temperature changes and ground movement asreason for the water line break, which was similar to one thathappened on Railroad Avenue at Christmas time a few year ago. Heestimated the pipe was around 50 years old after being installed inthe 1950s.

Crews worked late Monday night and Tuesday night on the waterline problem. City officials said they appreciated help from theCity of McComb, which sent manpower and equipment asassistance.

“We put two valves in because we couldn’t cut the water off,”Dickey said.

To cut the water to the affected line section, valves wereinstalled near Highway 51 and North Smiley Street. Dickey said thecity does not have enough valves to cut water to specificareas.

“You get into a situation where water’s being fed from a lot ofdifferent directions,” Dickey said. “Sometimes, you just can’t cutthe water off.”

Dickey indicated that customers should not have noticed adifference.

“They may have seen some drop in pressure, but not enough toaffect anybody,” he said.

A section of West Congress Street between Highway 51 and NorthSmiley remained closed today. After the new pipe is installed, cityofficials said the road could possibly reopen to one-lanetraffic.

However, Street Department Superintendent Jimmy Griffin said a48-inch storm drain under West Congress Street will have to bereplaced. He was unsure when the new drain would be available to beinstalled.

“They cut the pipe,” Griffin said. “You can’t reuse it andyou’re going to have to replace it.”