Water flow from broken water pipe on West Rosemary Street caused temporary sedimentation and discoloration in Bolin Creek

October 20, 2017
 
Drinking water which flowed from a broken pipe on West Rosemary Street caused temporary sedimentation and discoloration in Bolin Creek, OWASA said Friday.
 
When a sinkhole due to a broken pipe was found in West Rosemary Street near Pritchard Avenue Wednesday night, OWASA began a repair process which was completed Thursday night. 
 
When a water line breaks, water is under pressure and it washes out nearby soil. This typically results in sediment being carried into storm drains and potentially into downstream creek areas. When OWASA digs into the ground to repair a pipe, muddy water is also pumped out of the excavation area to enable the repair.
 
OWASA uses one or more methods where practical and effective to limit the amount of sediment carried into drains due to a pipe break, such as putting materials around stormwater inlets to catch sediment. 
 
However, these materials do not capture all of the sediment . Therefore, in an urban area, sediment due to a water line break may reach downstream creek areas, especially before water is turned off by closing water line valves to isolate the repair location.
 
OWASA will continue to review and improve its procedures for capturing sediment resulting from water line breaks, in addition to replacing water lines where needed to help reduce line breaks and to maintain reliable water service.
 
OWASA recognizes that erosion and sedimentation control are essential for protecting stream water quality, and are a key part of OWASA’s maintenance and repair operations as well as capital projects.
 
For more information
 
Randy Horton, Distribution and Collection Systems Manager, 919-537-4280 or rhorton@owasa.org  
 
Greg Feller, Public Affairs Administrator, 919-537-4267 or gfeller@owasa.org