EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 8, 2013

Leaky main repaired without customers losing water

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — A water main on Groveland Street sprang a leak this week, but city officials say it was a small one and that workers were able to repair it.

They said the work was done without completely shutting off the water supply to eight customers who were affected.

Robert Ward, director of the city's water and sewer departments, said the break occurred in an old 8-inch cast iron water main near the intersection of Groveland and Crowell streets in the Riverside area of the city. The break was reported about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"The joint where the pipes fit together, a solder joint, popped out so we put a bell-joint clamp around it, which is not an uncommon fix," Ward said. "We were able to fix it while still under pressure, but we did close some valves to reduce the pressure. We don't believe anyone was without water, but it affected (pressure in) about eight houses."

He said Dig Safe was called in to mark the location of buried utility lines before excavation could begin. But shortly after the Dig Safe worker arrived, he was called off to an emergency. Another Dig Safe worker was sent to the scene and repairs were completed by about 11 p.m., Ward said.

"That's an old main, probably from 1910 to 1920," Ward said. "It wasn't a very big leak, as far as main breaks go."

This was the latest in a sereis of water main breaks in the city. On Jan. 6, workers scrambled to make repairs and restore water pressure to homes after three water main breaks occurred within a few hours of each other. One of those breaks occurred in an 8-inch water main on Groveland Street near Crowell Street, about 50 yards east of this week's break. Other breaks that occurred on the morning of Jan. 6 were on Boardman Street and at 440 North Ave.