Officials suspect water tank vandalism

Published 5:10 pm Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday was a dry day for Brookhaven, except at Linbrook Business Park where a water tank is leaking from two puncture holes and a fine mist of water is falling to the ground.

     Authorities believe someone shot the holes into the tank as a prank, but city officials aren’t laughing.

     “That’s not a funny deal,” said Public Works Director Steve Moreton. “That will take some money to fix.”

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     Residents can rest easy, though, and drink tap water without fear. There’s no danger tap water could be contaminated, said Water Department Superintendent Keith Lewis.

     The tank has been leaking since Friday evening, Lewis estimated. There’s standing water in some places around the tank.

     Brookhaven Police Department officers examined the area for bullet casings but found nothing, Lewis said. Law enforcement authorities were unable to provide additional information on the vandalism to the water tank.

     There’s not an easy patch for the holes causing the problem, said Lewis.

     The tank will have to be drained, repaired, sterilized and refilled. New water samples must then be taken from the tank to ensure the integrity of the tank and its contents.

     Lewis estimated the tank could be out of commission for about two weeks for repairs.

     The capacity of the Linbrook water tank is 1 million gallons, but Lewis said there shouldn’t be a noticeable loss of pressure from taking the tank offline.

     “Shouldn’t affect it very much at all,” he said.

     Engineers are going to inspect the tank Friday morning. Officials were unable to provide an estimate of what repairs could cost, pending the inspection.

     “We’re going to get some quotes, see what it’s going to take to fix it,” Lewis said.

     Moreton said vandalism is a constant irritant to the city. In a recent incident, he said seven to nine streetlights were shot out on Church Street.