Water main breaks keeping workers busy
By Suzanne Werre
This cold winter has not been kind. Not to people, not to wildlife, not even to the ground, or what is buried beneath it. Some of the water mains in Underwood have been especially hard-hit from the frozen ground shifting, causing breaks in the lines that have been sending water out through cracks in the streets, cracks in retaining walls, and up into basements through floor drains.
The city’s maintenance workers found themselves trying to get a handle on a particularly difficult-to-isolate break last Tuesday when water was seen coming up the cracks in the road near 302 McKinley Ave. While workers were trying to isolate the initial problem, Underwood residents Allen and Cassie Reed contacted city auditor Diane Schell to let her know they had water coming up in their basement on 2nd Street, just south of McKinley.
Cassie Reed noted that there was no water in the basement when Allen was down there that morning around 5 am, but by 10:15 or so that morning, they had about four or five inches of water on the basement floor. The floor heaved up and there was some damage to the carpet and paneling in the basement, as well as some items that were stored in the basement.
It took a few days, a few holes dug in the streets, and more than a few man hours to determine where the water break was, which on Friday was determined to be in the line between the gate valve and a T joint on McKinley Ave. The water found its way into Reeds’ home by following the path of least resistance, noted Schell, which was along a telephone cable/fiberoptics bore hole line that was near the break.