Teamwork Repairs Broken Water Main, Alerts Residents
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Despite the cold and the dark, repairs to a broken water main on West Center Street Monday went like clockwork.
Burton Village Street Commissioner Charlie Hauser said help arrived from all directions when the word went out about 3:30 p.m. that water was flowing down frozen state Route 87.
“I want to commend our guys for a professional job. Everything went according to Hoyle,” Hauser told the village Board of Public Affairs Tuesday.
Utilities Supervisor Paul Eaton said the crew found the top of the six-inch cast iron pipe had a hole about four inches wide by 10 inches long.
As soon as the trouble spot was unearthed, water pressure dropped and about 12 homes lost water pressure.
The pipe was probably installed around 1928, he said, adding it is not the first time the department has had to repair leaks along that length.
Board member Judy Beaumier asked if the area is more affected by vibrations from passing trucks.
Eaton said while this break was near the Ohio Department of Transportation garage on West Center, other leaks have been farther west.
“There’s no rhyme or reason” for the locations, he said.
Board President Curt Johnson said the pipe is old and village Fiscal Officer Chris Paquette said that stretch of plumbing should be put on the list for replacement.
Water was out for about five hours, but even with clean-up from the work, crews were home before midnight, Johnson said.
Eaton said a boil water alert was sent out to all homes that have land phone lines, thanks to the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office’s use of the reverse 911 list.
“If you don’t have a land line, you’re out of luck,” he said.
But the information must have reached a large number of residents.
“Before we were done, school kids were calling to see if school was cancelled Tuesday,” Eaton said.
Turnout was excellent and included three village police department employees, four from contractor Phil Miller’s crew and a few from the ODOT garage, he said.
Beaumier asked if village residents with cell phones could get on the reverse 911 list so they could get the information and respond.
Eaton said the alert and information was also available via radio and local television stations, but it would be a good idea in case of a natural disaster like a tornado.
Burton Village Engineer George “Chip”?Hess said he was asked to participate in a meeting between Middlefield Village Mayor Ben Garlich, Burton Village Mayor Nick Fischbach and Councilwoman Linda Swaney regarding the possibility of the two villages working together on water and wastewater treatment infrastructure.
When Garlich asked him, Hess said he explained Burton Village is not under a state mandate to update its infrastructure, but is being proactive in development of a general plan to do so.
Hess said he wasn’t sure why he was invited to the meeting, other than his role as engineer for Burton Village.
However, he said he is also designing a sewer system for the Berkshire Hills industrial park and the owners of the property have talked about the possibility of tying into the Middlefield Village system.
“There’s some potential there to work together,” Hess said, recommendingthe mayors and the BPA should take the lead on that.
“It’s probably not prudent for us to hastily submit our plan for sewer rehabilitation to the EPA if something else may be in the works,” Johnson said. “Ten thousand questions need to be asked and discussed. If we can find a better plan than what we have, we should consider it.”
In other business, Beaumier said the village should consider talking to the Burton Fire Department about the village water used by the department, considering the increasing cost of water.
“These rates are always going up. Our residents support the bulk of (the costs),” she said. “I think it’s unfair.”
The fire department is paid by the village as a subcontractor, Beaumier said, adding other contractors bring their own materials and charge the village for them.
If the village is supplying the water for the department, she said, perhaps their contract should reflect that.
“The fire department uses more than the average home,” Johnson said. “That’s going to bring up some good discussion. We’re always looking for ways to save money. It’s something we should look at.”