UPDATE: City Still Working to Repair Water Line Issues in Gallipolis

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email
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UPDATE 6/18/14 @ 2:06 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) --Work continues to repair two main water line breaks that caused some 3,000 water customers in Gallipolis to be without water for more than a week earlier this month.

City Manager Randy Finney said there is a lot of work to do before the system is stabilized.

The problem started on Monday, June 2, and finally came to an end when the boil water advisory was lifted on Tuesday, June 10.

Finney said the city is dealing with water lines that were installed in the early to mid-1900s and has very limited drawings and details on how these lines are laid in the ground and how they are connected. Right now, workers are researching archives and remapping these lines.

Currently, repair estimates are being obtained for a temporary bypass line has been in place since June 4 for one of the main water lines that was under Chickamauga Creek.

The city manager expects that process to take two to four weeks and construction to begin shortly after that.

The other 12-inch water line that was the source of the second leak and would not allow the system to pressurize has been valved off. Crews believe the leak is between the intersections of Fourth Avenue and Vine Street to State Route 141 and State Route 7.

The current valve on this line is not functioning properly, and crews do not want to reopen the line to find the leak until the valve is replaced. The plan is to install a new valve within the next week and during the night use sound detection equipment to find where the water is going.

Finney said the city is still experiencing some water loss, but nothing compared to the 1.5 to 2 million gallons of water that was previously going out of this line each day. He said the city needs to know where this water is going, so crews can make sure this leak has not caused other damage underground.



UPDATE 6/10/14 @ 10:55 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A boil water advisory was lifted late Tuesday night for the nearly 3,000 customers impacted by a water outage since Monday, June 2.

According to a news release from the city of Gallipolis, it is no longer necessary to boil your water. Samples have been taken, analyzed and are safe.

The boil advisory had been in effect for the entire city of Gallipolis Water System since the water main break.



UPDATE 6/10/14 @ 2 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) --A boil water advisory for customers on the City of Gallipolis Water System could be lifted Tuesday night.

According to a new release, water samples were taken Monday night and the results should be back late Tuesday night.

If the samples are good the city will lift the advisory, but if there are any negative results the system will have to be retested and that will take another 24 hours for results.

The city says it plans to send out a message and post the results on their website at www.cityofgallipolis.com when the tests come back.

The reservoir is filling up at a good rate. Overnight the level went up about four and a half feet.

Cit leaders continue to ask customers to continue to conserve until the reservoir is at the necessary level for full use. They say that should happen within the next few days.

The water distribution station for drinking water will be open from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm each day at the Public Use Area below the city park until the boil advisory is lifted. Thank you.



UPDATE 6/9/14 @ 9:20 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- With the Gallipolis water outage in its eighth day, a major water leak that is not allowing the water system to maintain pressure has been found, according to a city news release.

A 12-inch abandoned water main has been identified as the problem, according to City Manager Randy Finney.

The water system had a failure on Monday, June 2, and an active water main under the Chickaumgua Creek was broken, along with the abandoned line.

Repairs were completed on June 4 to the active line. When the system was started back up, though, the lines could not be pressurized.

Many days were spent trying to identify where the water leak was with the help of other cities and agencies working together. No signs of a water leak were detected, but by isolating different areas crews were able to identify the line and valve. Once the valve was closed, the pressure began to build and water is being restored to the reservoir.

A boil water advisory for the entire city of Gallipolis water system will be in effect until residents are notified. The water distribution station for drinking water will be open from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Public Use Area below the city park for those needing additional water until the boil advisory is lifted.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 6/9/14 @ 6:30 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Water continues to be the talk of the town in Gallipolis on Monday as people living there enter the eighth day with little to no water pressure.

Sunday night and Monday morning, crews went through downtown to check valve settings and to make sure they are on.

On Monday, crews sectioned off town and tested pressure in each section to see if they could find where the loss of pressure is coming from. So far, no leak has been found.

The loss of the water pressure is not allowing the reservoir to fill, which also prevents the system from gaining pressure. Until that is filled, the boil water advisory will remain in effect.

The advisory is making it rough on some people. Cathy Stephens said she and her daughter depend on water now for more than just dishes and laundry.

Stephens has third-degree burns on her foot, and her daughter has stitches that are healing. Without clean water, it’s hard to keep them from getting infections.

“It's been really rough; with the injury on my foot it's been really hard,” Stephens said. “My daughter has stitches in her head. I mean, we can't bathe in the water. We don't know what to do.”

And she’s not alone. The effects of the water outage have reached past those who depend on city water. It's taking its toll on people who don’t live in the city but work in the city.

“There's three of us in my house that work,” said Desiree Ruiz Mendoza. “Right now, I'm the only one bringing in a paycheck, because the other two cannot go to work.”

She and her husband live outside of town and have water through another system. But her husband works in a restaurant in downtown Gallipolis, and no work means no money.

“We live paycheck to paycheck,” Mendoza said. “We have diapers we have buy, formula we have to buy, bills that are not going to wait around, and I don’t make enough money to support six kids and the rest of us.”

Water distribution sites will remain open. Five gallon bags of water can be picked up at the public use area of the city park. To fill a container, people are being directed to the Gallipolis Developmental Center.



UPDATE 6/9/14 @ 10 a.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Monday is the eighth day that people in Gallipolis are dealing with littler to no water pressure.

A boil water advisory is in effect until the water leak is found and crews can get the reservoir filled.

Restaurants and small businesses requiring water are still closed.

Water distribution sites remain open.



UPDATE 6/8/14 @ 6:45 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Sunday is the seventh day folks in Gallipolis have gone with little to no water in their homes and businesses.

Gallia County Emergency Response teams are still handing out water to those in need.

Emergency Response Coordinator Jenny Henchey says they are prepared to distribute water until Tuesday.

She says nearly 95% of people that were originally affected now have water, but it's still at very low pressures.

The last 5% of people without water live along Vine Street, and Henchey says it won't be restored until the leak is located and repaired.

Even though many people now have water, several businesses in Gallipolis are closed because of the water crisis.

The restaurants and hotels that were shut down won't be reopened until inspected by the health department, which could be days after the leak is repaired.



UPDATE 6/7/14 @ 7 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) – Saturday is the sixth day of the water emergency in Gallipolis.

Gallia County Emergency Response Coordinator Jenny Henchey tells WSAZ.com Saturday crews narrowed down the area where that leak causing the problems is located and will hopefully have it identified Sunday.

She says crews have Vine Street closed off.

Once the leak is found, it will still take another 24 hours before the boil water advisory can be lifted, Henchey says, because the water will still need to be tested and the lines will need to be flushed.

Water pressure has been restored for some, but thousands of residents are still not able to drink from their faucets.

Crews continue to hand out bottled water and 5-gallon bags filled with water for drinking at the riverfront by the city park.

Henchey says they’ve distributed the equivalent of 35,000 bottles of water.

Neighbors say when this issue first began on Monday, they didn’t expect it to last this long.

"We just thought it was going to be a day or so, if that," John Kearns said. “It’s been a long week.”

Restaurants that are city water customers remain shut down.



UPDATE 6/6/14 @ 11:40 a.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- City Manager Randy Finney says city crews, along with the Ohio EPA and Ohio Rural Water Association, were able to isolate the water lines, providing good flow and pressure on the main line feeding the reservoir.

Finney says that was accomplished about 7:30 Friday.

Some 3000 customers are impacted by the outage that began Monday morning.

“We have opened the line to the reservoir and are attempting to send water to the reservoir. With this isolation we have a better idea where we are losing pressure, said Finney.“We have companies coming in town this evening to apply monitors to the hydrants in an attempt to locate the broken line. Last night’s event is the first positive sign that we have had for a while.”

Finney added that crews will continue working through the day to identify other issues with the lines.

The Gallia County Emergency Management Agency continues to staff the Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate delivery and distribution of water.

Any requests or inquiries concerning the water outage can be made to the EMA at 740-441-2036. If there is an emergency, please call 911.

The American Red Cross and Gallia County Health Department, with assistance from local high school and 4-H club volunteers, have been staffing the water distribution at the public use area of the Gallipolis City Park.

The water, which is contained in a 5-gallon plastic-bladder-type bag, will be handed out from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the weekend, and is for drinking use only.

Water customers can fill their own containers, for uses other than drinking, at the water treatment plant, located at 2020 Chestnut St., Gallipolis, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through the Sunday.

Gallia County Health Commissioner, Dr. Gerald Vallee, says all restaurants in the Gallipolis water distribution area will remain closed until water is restored.

The Gallipolis Developmental Center is offering bathroom and shower facilities from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2500 Ohio Ave. in Gallipolis. Please supply all of your own commodities to use these facilities.

Jeff Lanham, Athletic Director of the University of Rio Grande, advised that the showers at the Lyne Center athletic complex will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, for those interested in using their facilities. Please supply all of your own commodities to use these facilities.



UPDATE 6/5/14 @ 10 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Thousands of water customers in Gallipolis continue to have little or no water for a fifth day.

As of Thursday night, crews have not been able to locate the leak that is causing significant water loss and not allowing them to build up pressure in the lines.

"We are trying to get it fixed, but tensions are tight when you don't have water,” City Manager Randall Finney said Thursday afternoon. “We want to get things moving as quickly as possible."

Crews will be back at the riverfront area by the city park Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. distributing bottled water. They are asking people to just use that as drinking water.

There's still no timetable in place on how much longer this problem will last.

The Ohio Rural Water Association has brought in electronic equipment to help find that leak, Finney says.



UPDATE 6/5/14 @ 9:15 a.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Some 3,000 water customers in Gallipolis continue to have little or no water for a fourth day.

City Manager, Randall Finney says testing Wednesday night found there was another major leak.

As of Thursday morning, crews have not been able to locate the leak which is causing significant water loss and not allowing us to build up pressure in the lines.

Finney says crews will be walking all the lines today to try and find this leak. They are also bringing in sound detection equipment to locate the problem.

Until the source of the problem is found, Finney says there is no timeline to restore water.

The Gallia County Emergency Management Agency is working with the State of Ohio to coordinate continued water distribution.

The water will be handed out to city water customers at the waterfront of the Gallipolis City Park from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Distribution of the water will continue daily until water has been restored.

Water customers can also fill their own containers, for uses other than drinking, at the water treatment plant, located at 2020 Chestnut St., Gallipolis, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday.

The Gallia County Emergency Management Agency has opened the Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate delivery and distribution of water. Any requests or inquiries concerning the water outage can be made to 740-441-2036. If there is an emergency, please call 911.

Jeff Lanham, Athletic Director of the University of Rio Grande, advised that the showers at the Lyne Center athletic complex will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for those in need of a shower.

Finney asked that residents remember to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly and those who can not leave their homes.

The Gallia County Health Department is in the process of notifying some 40 businesses that serve food, and have city water service, they will have to close until the water issue is fully resolved.

Portable bathrooms are also being located in the park for residents.

The boil water advisory continues for those customers who do have some water service.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/4/14 @ 8:55 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- City of Gallipolis customers continued experiencing low water pressure or no water at all Wednesday evening as crews work to restore service.

Crews will shut down all of the waterlines within the service area and restart them in a systematic fashion, according to a news release from City Manager Randall Finney.

This process began Wednesday evening.

In order to restore the pressure in the system, crews are restoring water levels to the reservoir.

After that is complete, they will start bringing each service area up and make sure each one is functioning properly.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 6/4/14 @ 6:20 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- On Thursday, crews will continue to pass out bottled water to residents in Gallipolis, Ohio, impacted by a water main break and boil water advisory.

The advisory has been in place since Monday morning, after a break in a line under a creek.

The break caused water pressure to be reduced, and a boil water advisory was issued.

Water started coming back on for residents on Wednesday, but a boil advisory remains.

Wednesday, crews passed out bottled water in the Gallipolis City Park. Within three hours, they ran out of water. They will pass out water again on Thursday, starting at 1 p.m.

Customers who want to fill their own containers can do so at the Gallipolis Water Treatment Plant from 9a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday.

City Manager Randy Finney says it will take some time to see now the new line reacts to pressure. Customers are still asked to conserve until the system has a chance to recharge.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 6/4/14 @ 10 a.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The Gallipolis City Manager says water is now flowing through a completed bypass water line.

Randall Finney says crews completed the line about 6:30 Wednesday morning.

Some 3000 customers in Gallipolis have had water issues since Monday morning when a main water line broke under Chickamauga Creek.

Starting at 1 p.m., bottled water will be available at Gallipolis City Park. Quantities are limited by family size and family members must be present to receive the water. The distribution is scheduled to end at 6 p.m.

Customers who want to fill their own containers can do so at the Gallipolis Water Treatment Plant from 9a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday.

Finney says it will take some time to see now the new line reacts to pressure. Customers are still asked to conserve until the system has a chance to recharge.

A boil water advisory remains in effect.

Keep clikcing on WSAZ.com for updated formation.



UPDATE 6/3/14 @ 10:55 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- While a boil water advisory continues for nearly 3,000 customers in Gallipolis, city leaders are optimistic a water main break could be repaired soon.

City Manager Randall Finney said the city is installing bypass lines to restore service to customers.

The city hopes to have the work done by early Wednesday morning.

Currently, some people have low water pressure and others have none at all.

If you do have water, you're advised to boil it.



UPDATE 6/3/14 @ 11:50 a.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Repairs to a water main break in Gallipolis could take several days to complete, according to City Manager Randall Finney.

A boil water advisory was issued for nearly 3,000 customers on Monday.

Originally, it was thought the repairs would be completed late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, but crews were having difficulty locating the source of the break.

Finney says crews eventually discovered that the main water line supplying water to Mound Hill Reservoir had broken. That line runs under the water at Chickamauga Creek at the State Route 7 Bridge.

Crews were not able to repair the line Monday night since it was underwater, but they were able to isolate the line so crews could start supplying water to different areas of system.

Finney also says that until crews can get repair materials they won’t be able to pump water to the reservoir.

As a result, there will be limited pressure and very low water flow if any pressure at all.

Tuesday morning crew began refilling the lines and there should be minimal water in the downtown area, Eastern Avenue, Jackson Pike, and State Route 588 area.

Finney calls the break a very serious situation and is asking everyone to conserve water and use only what is absolutely necessary.

The boil advisory will remain in effect until further notice.



ORIGINAL STORY 6/2/14 @ 9:30 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A boil water advisory was issued Monday for nearly 3,000 people in Gallipolis, according to information from the city.

A water main break is responsible, and crews were having difficulty locating the source of the break.

All 3,000 customers of the city's water supply are advised to boil any water used for cooking, drinking, oral hygiene, or watering pets. The water should be cooled to a sufficient temperature before use.

The boil advisory was issued as a precaution and should be followed until further notice.

City officials said it could be late Monday or early Tuesday before the break is repaired.

More information is available by calling the city's Utility Office at (740) 441-6006. Additional information also will be posted on the city’s website at www.cityofgallipolis.com.


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