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Posted on: December 29, 2021

City, contractors working to repair water line break

City of Lenoir Public Utiliities

City staff and contractors are working today to repair a break on a 20-inch water main that has caused low pressure in certain parts of the city.

Public Utilities staff detected the break early Monday morning and found the break Monday night. The break is located on a 20-inch main that runs under Lower Creek between Quest4Life and Harrisburg Drive SW. 

The line is the primary feed for the Finley Avenue water tank, which creates the water pressure for the Finley Avenue area and other parts of the city. Staff were able to redirect a couple smaller lines to feed the Finley Avenue tank, but some residents are still dealing with low pressure.

"We worked all day Monday trying to locate the leak," said Public Utilities Distribution Superintendent Kevin Pritchard. "We were checking this main and saw the water bubbling up in the creek. This has been the hardest break to locate and repair in my 30 years working for the City."

City staff had to call in two different contractors to help make the repair. One company had to use special equipment to install a line stop on the 20-inch main, and another company had to bring in a large back hoe that that could dig out the pipe from the side of Morganton Boulevard. Staff also had to order a section of pipe from Atlanta, Georgia.

"The part is on the way now," Pritchard said Wednesday morning. "It should be here by the time we're ready for it."

Pritchard hopes to have the water main repaired this afternoon. Once the repair is complete, pressure should return to normal for affected residents within a few hours. If customers notice any discoloration in their water, they should flush their cold water line until it clears. If discoloration persists for longer than 20 minutes, call the Water Treatment Plant staff at 828-757-4460.

Photo showing general location of water line break on NC 18

The red circle above shows the general location of the water line break.

Staff built a mini dam in Lower Creek to reduce the flow of water around the repair area.

Public Utilities workers built a mini dam upstream to reduce the amount of water in the work area. Two water pumps are pulling water up and around the work area and back to Lower Creek.

Water lines flushing water back to the creek past the work area

Two of the lines go back down to Lower Creek. The orange line is flushing water toward the bank which is flowing back into the creek.

Water pumps pumping water around the work area

Two diesel water pumps pull water out of Lower Creek and pump it around the repair site.

A water line stop installed on the 20-inch water main

The water line stop was installed in the 20-inch main so staff could stop water in the repair area.

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