Keeping Our Drinking Water Flowing
So far in 2021, Elkins Water System employees have responded to about five dozen broken water mains. This is in addition to performing planned work to replace fire hydrants, faulty valves, and related maintenance and upgrades essential to keeping drinking water flowing to our faucets and reducing system losses due to leaky pipes.
Most of this year’s broken mains have been concentrated in South Elkins. These breaks are related to the ongoing project to reduce sewage overflows to the river by separating our current combined sewer/storm-water lines into distinct sewer and storm-water lines. (Learn more about the sewer/storm-water separation project here.) A combination of very soft soils and very old pipes are the main culprits that our contractor and the South Elkins water customers have been struggling with.
After-hours water-main breaks can result in as many as 6-8 hours of overtime per person per break. But what does that really look like?
This photo is from just one day in September when—after a normal workday—overtime work started at 4 p.m. to help Bear Contracting move a water line for the sewer/stormwater project.
While that work was proceeding, a leak was reported on Bruce Street. Elkins Street Department heavy equipment operators joined this repair effort, but even with that extra assistance, work on Bruce Street lasted until midnight.
But the night still wasn’t over. Instead of punching out and heading home for some already well-deserved rest, Water System and Street Department personnel shifted to yet another leak that had cropped up in the meantime, this one over on Yokum Street. Fortunately, the Yokum break was a small one. It “only” took city employees until 2 a.m. to resolve.
At City of Elkins, we are grateful for this kind of teamwork and for the hard work and dedication of these vital public servants. We hope you are, too.
Pictured: Wes Lambert, Gary Bonnell, Eric “Tiny” Hiner, Remington Stanley (Street Dept.), and—in the trench with shovels—D.J. Shoulder and R.D. Walters. Assisting but not pictured: G.B. Bonnell and Shawn Akers (Street Dept.).
UPDATE: Boil Water Near Lavallette LIFTED
Update as of 8/24, 8:19 a.m.: Boil Water Notice near Livingston, Lavallette, Taylor, 13th has been LIFTED. Lab testing found no contamination. =============================== Water system personnel are responding to a water leak in a service line in the 1400 block of Lavallette […]Read More
Elkins Water Board Recommends Emergency Rate Increase
The Elkins Water Board has recommended an emergency rate increase of 32 percent for city water customers, and the Elkins council could approve the increase as soon as September 15. This increase, which is essential for the utility to avoid insolvency in […]Read More
Leak Investigation near Children’s Home
Update at 6:32 a.m.: The leak has been isolated without affecting other customers. Barring failure of the valve to this line, it should be possible to proceed with repairs without an outage in the area. =========== Elkins Water Board employees are responding […]Read More
New Web Page: Water Outages FAQ
Water leaks and outages affect all water systems. Starting in 2021, however, our system began seeing a significant increase in such incidents, especially in South Elkins. This year, Elkins water system workers have responded to dozens of leaks in South Elkins. Although […]Read More
12/5: Outage Between South Davis and Livingston
To repair a leaking water main, we are shutting off water to Livingston Avenue, Lavalette Avenue, and Taylor Avenue (approximate area shown in map below). Customers will have low/no pressure until repairs are complete. Due to unpredictable underground conditions, we cannot accurately […]Read More
Why So Many Water Outages?
There is clearly an unacceptable number of ongoing water outages and sometimes resulting Boil Water Notices. What is going on? One major reason is that many underground water lines in Elkins are past their end-of-life and need to be replaced. The reason […]Read More