INDIANA--Water Main Break Causes School Delays : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Story entered Tuesday, 03/14/2000 By Darnell J. Compton of The News@Sentinel


Water main break causes school delays Fort Wayne Water Maintenance crews rerouted water in the northeast area of the city before the start of the business day today in the wake of an early morning water main break.

Although some schools posted a two-hour delay, the 24-inch main break caused some concern, but little damage.

The main on Maycrest Drive just south of Lake Avenue fed water into pipes serving northeast Fort Wayne, said Peter Hill, Water Maintenance supervisor.

Buried 4 to 5 feet deep, the main ruptured around 2:30 a.m., he said.

Maintenance crews were able to shut off nearby valves to close water feeding into the main by 7:30 a.m., Hill said. The shutoff immediately began increasing pressure to the quadrant.

Maycrest will remain closed as maintenance crews fix the main.

"We have to flush out the system and reopen the main and let the pressure get back in," Hill said. "It will clear itself up. Residents will notice very little."

Patients at Parkview Hospital noticed no change because the facility houses a well that automatically pumps water when city water drops, said Bob Nickerson, director of engineering.

"As the pressure dropped, the operations went on perfectly normal," Nickerson said. "By 7:30 a.m. the pressure had stabilized and there were no changes in pressure or contamination."

Water pressure decreased in several areas, including for residents near the Lake and Hobson Road area and as far out as Snider High School, 4600Fairlawn Pass, one of three Fort Wayne Community Schools that called a delay.

Glenwood Park Elementary School, 4501 Vance Ave., and Lane Middle School, 2100 Lake Ave., also had delays.

Sanitation became the major concern at Lane and other areas. The schools need enough water pressure to flush toilets. Bottled water took care of the school drinking supply, officials said.

Officials at Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne have monitored the pressure closely since 4 a.m., said Lauren Denhartog, IPFW chief of police.

"Pressure is a little low but everything's functioning," Denhartog said. "At this point, we are just monitoring. Mainly all the restroom facilities for the public are functioning. While the pressure is lower, we have enough pressure."

Statewood Plaza, with Scott's Foods and other stores, was barely affected. Employees at Fish of Stroh cited no problems or changes in their water pressure, while managers at Scott's said the pressure drop was not significant.

-- (, March 14, 2000

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