Water Main Breaks Cause Problems

Information reprinted with permission of the Courier Times, local newspaper New Castle, Indiana www.thecouriertimes.com

Water main breaks cause problems

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 12:00 am

New Castle Water Department employees had their hands full dealing with two water main breaks in less than 24 hours.

The first problem was discovered by a pedestrian who saw water bubbling up out of the ground near the 200 block of S. Main Street Monday morning. He reported the situation and a crew was dispatched to investigate.


“The problem there was that the water wasn’t coming out of the ground where the line was broken, although that’s where we always start looking. We tried to follow the leak for a while and then decided our best plan of attack was to go at it from a different route. We think we’ve got it located now,” New Castle Water Superintendent Greg Phipps said midday Tuesday.

Water Department employees worked to find the Main Street leak throughout the day and evening Monday and returned to the task early Tuesday.

Before those working to remedy the situation could complete that repair, they were pulled off the job to address another water main break on N. 25th Street. Phipps said that line break was located and repairs were expected to be completed in fairly short order. As soon as that job was done, the Water Department crew was returning to finish fixing the Main Street problem.

“Neither one of the breaks was what I would call severe, but anytime you have a main break it’s costing the city money – we’re losing water that we’ve treated – so we take them all seriously. Then we rate them on their severity. The one on 25th Street was a larger leak than the one on S. Main, so we pulled our people off of Main and fixed the problem on 25th first,” he said.

Phipps said the leaks did not result in anyone’s service being interrupted and a boil advisory was not required.

“We don’t have to issue a boil advisory unless the pressure drops below 20 pounds and we generally fix most of our breaks live so we can avoid doing that,” he said.

Mayor Greg York said the leak on Main Street was found to be near the intersection with Indiana Avenue, considerably farther north than originally thought, and that the age of the city’s water lines is to blame.

“The problem is we’ve got guys doing a great job working their tails off, but our infrastructure is 100 years old. We have more outdated infrastructure than we can keep up with,” the mayor said.

Phipps concurred with the mayor’s assessment, adding that “a lot of the water lines in New Castle are very old.”

The water superintendent also said his employees do their best to insure the citizens of New Castle have an adequate and safe water supply.