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Customers still waiting for water

July 22, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown water customers in the areas of Chewsville and Cavetown were still without water late Tuesday night as crews continued searching for a leak, said Gene Walzl, water department manager.

Most of the 300 to 400 customers without water early Tuesday morning had it restored when a Hagerstown Fire Department truck began pumping water to those areas around 9 a.m., Walzl said.

The truck was helping a booster pump near Yingling's Golf Center on Jefferson Boulevard that pumps water to higher elevations, Walzl said. That enabled several customers to get water although water pressure might have been reduced, he said.

Walzl said water crews would continue working through the night to find the leak.

Water officials found out there was a problem when they received calls around 5 a.m. that a 360,000-gallon storage tank at the William M. Breichner Water Treatment Plant near Smithsburg was losing water from somewhere in the system, Walzl said.

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The plant - one of two the city has - had to be shut down since it cannot operate without a treated water source with which to mix chemicals for treating raw water, Walzl said. The plant began operating Tuesday afternoon after another water source was used, he said.

At first customers without water included Holiday Acres, Havenwood Hills, the Bayer Drive area, Chewsville, Cavetown, Robinwood, Hagerstown Community College, Brightwood Acres East and Black Rock.

The third floor of the Technical Innovation Center wasn't getting water on Tuesday morning, but was that afternoon, said HCC spokeswoman Patricia Churchey.

Besides Chewsville and Cavetown, there still was no water to Holiday Farms on Tuesday night, Walzl said.

Crews had isolated the leak to the area around the Holiday Farms and Beaverbrook neighborhoods on Tuesday afternoon by isolating portions of the system with valves and pumping water in one direction to see if the leak was affected, Walzl said.

Walzl said he wouldn't ask customers to reduce their water usage yet, but might consider it later since water usage is up.

Dave Shindle, water department engineer, said customers' patience and cooperation is appreciated.

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