It’s been a busy week for City of Gastonia crews making emergency repairs to water mains. “All hands on deck,” is how Brian Potocki with Utilities Maintenance Department describes it.
Since Jan. 2, eight water mains have ruptured because of pressure placed on the pipes by the frozen soil. In total, more than 1,700 residential and business customers have lost water service this week because of the problems.
Repairs typically take from 4 to 9 hours, often into the night. Restoring yards or streets where the repair took place can take several more hours. Some employees have worked 16 hours straight in the cold to make repairs. “We do what we have to do to get the water back on,” Potocki says. He adds that water main breaks are typical during prolonged cold weather.
A water main break Tuesday afternoon on East Ozark Avenue resulted in water service being turned off for the entire town of Ranlo until 10:30 that night. The City of Gastonia provides water to Ranlo. Yesterday, the 97 residents of an apartment complex on Hudson Landing Drive in Gastonia lost water for six hours, with repairs at the site continuing until 3 a.m. today.
Residents are asked to report possible problems with City water mains. Look for water gushing from a manhole or bubbling up through a crack in the street or sidewalk. Also look for water where you don’t expect it. If a section of street is icy, drive carefully and report the problem to the City of Gastonia.