Water Main Break, Dealing With The Aftermath
GAINESVILLE - As people work to recover from a water main break along one of the busiest roads in North Central Florida. Residents are being told to boil drinking and cooking water for the next 24 hours, after a water main break caused water to shoot up and run down the street. Businesses, are still coping with the aftermath.
The break happened Wednesday and caused one lane on Newberry Road north of the mall to close down, causing some traffic delays. But that was just the start; the pipe that failed is along a strip of many businesses, several which were affected.
Water mains are buried 3 to 6 feet under the ground. And no one ever really thinks about them until you get what looks like a small river going down Newberry Road. The reason behind it? A water main break.
While there is no indication there is anything wrong with the water. Some businesses and homes were issued this notice, warning people within the affected area to boil drinking or cooking water. The notice will remain in effect until a water analysis shows the water is safe to drink.
But for Manda Castro, the manager of a nearby Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta the incident was a set back. "We had to throw away our ice that we couldn't use the water. We are under a boiling precaution which means you've got to boil everything for at least 60 seconds, one minute. We had to start from square one and we were here until 3am boiling water just so we could open the next day," Castro said.
The pipe that failed was right in front of the North Florida Regional Medical Center. The facility's water pressure was significantly reduced. Robert Harmon with North Florida says, people in the hospital shouldn't worry about water sanitation as they're taking extra precautions.
Harmon said, "There's no reason for us to think that we got intrusion of bacteria into the system. It was under pressure at all times. But as a precaution we're doing testing around the building, we did another round of testing today... And once that clears in 24 hours we know we'll be good to go."
Tony Cunningham, Senior Environmental Engineer for Gainesville Regional Utilities says the break was isolated and fixed within an hour after it happened. "We are hoping that by early Friday morning, even late tonight that we might be able to lift up the water notice and allow them to be fully restored to normal water use," Cunningham said.
At this point GRU does not know the reason as to why this water main failed. However the incident is under investigation. If you live in the area and have any questions or concerns you can contact GRU for more information at 352-393-1635 (water quality).
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