Water Line Replacement Near Orchard Street

On Monday, City of Elkins Water System employees will start a three-phase project to replace a water line under a disused alley near Orchard Street that has been the source of frequent leaks in recent years. The project is currently projected to continue through Friday and is being timed to minimize service interruptions in the area.

“We’ll be replacing a two-inch line that has been problematic for the last several years,” says Wes Lambert, chief operator of the Elkins Water System. “We’ve already had to repair this line multiple times this year alone.”

The source of the trouble has to do with the material the line is made from.

“This line is made from galvanized metal, like a lot of our lines, and unfortunately galvanized line is very prone to corrosion,” says Lambert. “We try to eliminate galvanized lines from our system whenever we get the opportunity.”

The galvanized line will be replaced with a 6-inch line made from C900, an extremely durable, flexible, corrosion-free PVC pipe material designed for potable water systems. Because of their smooth interior wall surfaces, C900 pipes dramatically decrease buildup of the sediments that can cause discoloration at the tap. A similar upgrade from galvanized to C900 is planned soon for a water line on nearby Woodland Drive.

The replacement near Orchard Street will proceed in three phases.

During Phase 1, crews will install a t-fitting and valve on the 8-inch main Orchard Street line.

“We’re starting Phase 1 on Monday at 10 p.m. to minimize impact on businesses and residences,” says Lambert. “Water will be shut off to nearby customers at this time but we’re hoping that won’t affect too many people that late at night.”

Customers should expect to have no or low pressure on Monday night at Third Ward Elementary School and the Randolph Village Apartments, as well as on Orchard Street, Grant Street, Dairy Avenue, Pleasant Avenue, Pine Street, Walnut Street, Nathan Street, Yokum Street, and Westview Drive. Taco Bell and Wendy’s will also be affected.

During Phase 2, scheduled for daytime hours on Tuesday, Lambert’s team will install roughly 500 feet of the new 6-inch C900 line parallel to the old, galvanized line that is marked for replacement. After installation, the new C900 line will be charged with water and chlorinated for a 24-hour period. Then, water samples from the line will be sent to a lab to test for E. coli and other bacteria.

“No one’s water service should be affected during Phase 2 on Tuesday,” says Lambert. “As soon as the water in the new line tests clean, we will be safe to start Phase 3 of the project.”

Phase 3 is scheduled to run during the day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. During Phase 3, water system employees will connect customers to the new C900 line. Each customer is expected to experience only a brief interruption in water service as this work proceeds.

“Once we get everyone connected to the new line, we’ll kill and abandon the old, galvanized line,” says Lambert. “It’ll be a relief to say goodbye to that one.”


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