Public Works Superintendent On Water Leaks

Curing the recent Greenville City Council meeting, City Manager Dave Willey displayed a water pipe that was recently damaged.

Water leaks are going to happen in a municipal water system.

Lines get old, especially if they are made of cast iron, and weather sometimes has an adverse effect, causing the ground to shift.

In the past week, City of Greenville Publics Works Department employees have worked on three leaks on a line at Idler Lane, which has led to boil orders being issued

Bill Grider, superintendent of public works, said when a water leak occurs, the city crew’s first priority is to keep pressure high enough that a boil order isn’t necessary. He said the maximum size of repair clamp the city has is 24 inches, so if the pipe has a crack or hole bigger than that, they have to shut the water off in that area and replace that section of pipe. Anytime pressure drops below 20 pounds per square inch, a boil order is required.

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Grider said when water is shut off, and a boil order is issued, the city will flush water mains to remove contaminants and air that may be in the system. A sample, or numerous samples, are taken from residents or from fire hydrants, and sent to a lab. The lab runs tests for bacteria, which take 20 to 24 hours. If no bacteria are found, the boil order is lifted.

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Grider said the water valve system of the city allows a specific area around the water leak to be shutoff, minimizing the number of residents affected.