MEDINA — Wednesday afternoon’s water main break on Commerce Drive was just the beginning.
After repairing the break along a culvert on Commerce Drive just before midnight Wednesday, a three-man crew made it home for a meal and hot shower around 2:30 a.m.
Their respite was short.
At 5:13 a.m. Thursday, a city firefighter reported “water spewing” in the 900 block of East Washington Street, Service Director Nino Piccoli said.
The bad news didn’t stop there.
Within minutes of replacing the 8-inch main, another pipe about 50 feet east from the first ruptured. Also an 8-inch main, the line failed about 7:30 a.m., Piccoli said.
“We have no reason to be concerned at this time,” Piccoli said of the breaks. “We think this is a combination of weakness in the line and an increase in pumpage. With the lack of rain and the climbing temperatures, people are using water more, and it seems that the weak spots throughout the system are going as a result. I am not concerned right now, but I will be if this continues.”
After Wednesday’s water main break, pressure opened up a 6-inch crack, Piccoli said. An 8-inch pipe was replaced, and water, shut off in the area around 7 p.m., was turned on just before midnight.
The boil alert issued for Commerce Drive, Branch Road, Abbeyville Road between West Liberty Street and Branch Road, Westgrove Court and Westbranch Drive was lifted at 8 p.m. Thursday.
As one boil alert was lifted, another was issued for East Washington Street between Roshon and Woodland drives and all of Alber Drive. As a precaution, the city advises all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes be boiled until further notice. A rolling boil of one minute is enough to kill any potential bacteria, according to the city’s Service Department.
Crews were able to get water back up and running on the first water main break Thursday within two hours, Piccoli said. A piece of the line was replaced after a crack was found at the bottom of the pipe.
At the second break, a hole about 8 inches in diameter was found and was capped to prevent further problems, he said.
“Usage in the city is up to 2.9 million to 3 million gallons of water a day, and we’re beginning to see the areas that are taxed and can’t handle the pressure on certain days,” Piccoli explained. “I was more concerned with the break on Commerce Drive Wednesday night because we’ve never had issues in that area before. East Washington Street has shown some problems in the past, so I am not raising an eyebrow to this. Either way this is not typical for this time of year, and we’re hoping this is the last of it.”
Piccoli said Medina Hospital at 1000 E. Washington St. was not affected by the Thursday morning water main breaks almost directly across the street.
“We have a protocol that we follow when the hospital is affected by something like this, and we were able to keep their water unaffected without a boil alert,” he said.
Questions can be directed to the Water Department at (330) 722-9081.
Contact Dani Orr at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.