Public Works Repairs Broken Water Main

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than a dozen businesses and homes are without water, as Public Works crews continue to repair a broken water main that broke Tuesday afternoon.

Around 3 pm on Tuesday, the City of Corvallis Public Works Department responded to about 800,000 gallons of water flooding 5th St. near Harrison Blvd.

On Wednesday, city employees went door-to-door informing businesses and residents that their water will likely not be working until Thursday evening. Nineteen properties are without water on 5th St. between Monroe and Tyler Avenues.

“We are working as fast as we can to restore water service to them,” said Mary Steckel, the Public Works Director. “We really appreciate how wonderful everyone is cooperating. Their attitudes make it much easier for our crews to focus on fixing the issue as quickly as possible.”

Steckel says the 20-inch water pipe that burst was about 60 years old, but should have lasted at least 80-100 years.

“It wasn’t near the end of its useful life and therefore not expected to break,” she said. “We’ll do an investigation but we may never know what caused the break.”

Steckel says crews regularly do a leak detection process throughout town to make sure there are not any small leaks that could cause a large break such as the one on Tuesday.

“We identify those locations beforehand for the most part,” she said. “So we aren’t concerned about the rest of the system.”

Steckel says crews have fixed the break, but are now running tests to make sure the water meets state and federal standards, which can take up to 24 hours before results are available.

The city is providing bottled water and porta-potties for those who are without water.

Steckel says water throughout the rest of the city is safe to drink because the water system has been pressurized.

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