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January 10, 2014

Water main break, snarls traffic on east side

Burst spewed 1,500 gallons per minute at Market and Mall Road

Logansport Municipal Utilities workers braved subzero temperatures to fix a water main break at the intersection of Market Street and Mall Road this week.

The water main break that occurred Tuesday evening was fixed Thursday afternoon, after 48 hours of work.

The origin of the water main break was an eight-inch line, originally losing 1500 gallons per minute. That loss was eventually brought down to 150 gallons per minute, which made it more manageable, Jim Jackson, manager of the water, wastewater and stormwater department at LMU, said.

Through the process customers might have lost some water pressure, but never were without water, Jackson said.

The recent winter storm didn’t make things easier when workers had to dig through several inches of snow to find the shut-off valves to isolate the area. When a valve couldn’t be found, they did a line stop to shut the water off, Jackson said.

In order to access the water main to begin with, LMU employees had to dig through about 16 inches of asphalt, 10 inches of concrete and about a foot of dirt to be able to install a clamp. At this particular location there were also electric, telephone and gas utilities underground LMU had to work around, Paul Hartman, LMU superintendent said.

A clamp was placed at the location and an additional shut-off valve was also added to make it easier to isolate the area in the future.

The Logansport Streets Department also assisted the situation. The streets department put salt down in the area as well as shared tools to assist with the cleanup, Dan Williams, Logansport Streets Department superintendent said.

A water main break is usually a pretty straight-forward fix, but it took a lot more consideration in the cold weather.

“Frostbite is one thing, but to be working in water and getting frostbite is completely different,” Hartman said.

The hole in the street will be temporarily patched until spring when it will be repaved.

The reason for the break is unclear. Jackson said water main breaks are something that becomes common in winter because of shifting ground.

Jackson commends the workers for their “outstanding job.”

“I can’t give the guys enough credit,” Jackson said. “

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