St. J Water Main Repair

stjwatermainbreakSaint Johnsbury - A water main underwent maintenence in Saint Johnsbury last Monday morning, cutting off water service for some residents. Households near the corner of Federal and Pearl Street were unable to use water at around 8 in the morning.

The maintenence wasn't a big incident for residents of the area, Saint Johnsbury Public Works Director Hugh Wescott said.

"The maintenence happened due to a crack in the pipe. All that had to be done was wrapping it up and sealing it." Wescott said.

The break was initially discovered the week before, but due to the cold weather members of the Saint Johnsbury Public Works Department were unable to fix it. Since it was only maintenence, it was not a big concern.

"If we know it's not a serious problem, we can hold off." said Wescott.

Getting to a water main is "a little bit of a process" according to Wescott, since the area around the pipe needs to be dug up. The procedure is said to usually take five or six hours to complete.

According to Gary Bumps, a member of the department, the cause of the break was most likely related to the old age of the pipe. While the exact number of affected households is unknown, water service was restored to the area at around 12:30pm.

When work is done on a water main, whether its maintenece or an actual break, there is never a clear number of households that are affected. It's a different situation depending on where it takes place, Wescott says.

This is the second water main related incident in the area in the last few months. In October of last year, a water main break took place on Federal St., between Eastern Ave. and Pearl St., which prevented traffic from going through the area. Another break in the town happened during August of last year, near Gilman and Concord avenues. City officials urged residents to boil their water until the problem was eventually fixed.