Joe P. Asher
Many Loyall area residents found themselves without water on Wednesday as they were attempting to prepare for Thanksgiving.
Harlan Municipal Water Works Superintendent Otis Lewis said only certain sections of Loyall were impacted by the outage.
“It’s Cedar Street and County Pike — KY 413 — there in the old Loyall area and also Black Bottom,” said Lewis.
Lewis explained the outage was due to normal occurrences this time of year.
“It’s just normal change of the seasons stuff. Black Mountain’s got two of them going on right now,” said Lewis. “It’s a main break. It would be common for us to have maybe two per year. If we have a harsh winter and sudden changes in temperature, we may have three or four.”
Water service was restored late Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re actually cutting a T (joint) out right now,” said Lewis, explaining the outage and repairs. “They’re cutting as we speak and it should be back on in an hour or two.”
“Most of the time we fix it over pressure. On this, we’re having to actually cut it out,” said Lewis.
Lewis stated the break occurred at a joint, making it harder to repair.
“This one was at a joint, that’s why we’re having to cut out a T,” said Lewis. “Normally we just clamp a piece of pipe on it over pressure. But this one being right at a joint we couldn’t get a clamp on it.”
According to Lewis, it took time to discover where the actual break was located.
“We worked on it yesterday and it was small,” said Lewis. “We worked on it up into the night last night thinking it was a joint leaking. Late last night we found that it was actually a main break about an inch away from the joint and we couldn’t get it clamped.”
Lewis noted that most leaks can be fixed without interrupting water service.
“It’s just normal stuff. Like I said, Black Mountain’s got two going on right now,” said Lewis. “We have them all over Harlan County. I’d be willing to say some water system here in Harlan has main breaks like this and has boil water advisories like this just about weekly. But we have very few, maybe two a year.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org