published Friday, May 31st, 2013

Winchester leak repair to start Monday

It could take another week or so to complete repairs to a major leak, though water supplies should remain stable for customers in a large area south of town, Winchester, Tenn., utility officials said.

Winchester Utilities water and wastewater manager Tim Solomon said the leak started where large supply pipes were fused together at a crossing over Boiling Fork Creek. The leak affects customers mostly south of town toward the foot of the mountains, Solomon said Thursday.

About 300 households are in the area supplied by the line, but 10 residences were most affected, he said.

"We put a booster pump in on the lower part of our system to pump water a different direction. There's no one out of water, now," he said.

"They would have [water pressure] and then not have it," he said of initial symptoms of the leak. "We couldn't get enough water to them until we got the booster pump going."

The rented booster pump will maintain pressure temporarily while a local contractor repairs the leak, Solomon said.

Officials expect the contractor to begin repairs Monday.

"It should be done by this time next week," he said.

Heath Automotive owner Steve Heath, whose business is on the southwest side of town, said he and his neighbors haven't had any major loss of pressure.

"I think we've been lucky that we are on the side of the break that's got good pressure," Heath said. "It sounds like it's a very large main, and it's going to take some time to fix."

Solomon said the residents should keep conserving water, just in case there's a problem with the rented pump.

Supplies will return to normal soon after the line is repaired and disinfected, he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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