Water main leak makes water murky

January 03, 1997


Staff Writer

Brownish water coming from the spigots of about 18,750 City of Hagerstown water customers on Thursday night was the result of a water main leak near the city water plant, the water department manager said.

The discoloration was reported in the South End of Hagerstown as well as along the Virginia Avenue corridor, including Williamsport, Halfway, Cloverton and Van Lear Manor, Manager Gene Walzl said.

The water in those areas should clear up by this morning, although customers in the outer fringes of the water distribution system might notice the discoloration later in the day as it travels through the system, Walzl said.


The leak was discovered Thursday morning at a joint in one of two 24-inch mains at the R.C. Willson Water Treatment Plant near Williamsport, he said.

Some of the material around the joint came loose, possibly because the water temperature was so cold, Walzl said.

Crews finished fixing the leak around 7 p.m. Thursday after shutting down that main distribution line in the early afternoon, Walzl said.

The discolored water resulted when plant workers increased the amount and speed of the water going into the second main distribution line, so the city could continue to meet the water demands of its 75,000 customers while one main line was shut down, he said.

The speed of the water probably stirred up sediment in the pipes, causing the discoloration. Walzl said he didn't think the discolored water was a health concern, since there was nothing wrong with the water other than the color.

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