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Water line replaced

Emergency crews respond to line break

A bulldozer operator with James White Construction of Weirton dumps dirt to cover a water line at New Cumberland City Park. The line was replaced Wednesday following a break earlier in the morning. A boil advisory is in effect for residents. (Photo by Steve Rappach)

NEW CUMBERLAND — A boil advisory is in effect for residents of New Cumberland city limits following a water line break early Wednesday morning at New Cumberland City Park.

Emergency crews were called to the park around 12:30 a.m. after a main pump line, located behind the pavilion near the creek, ruptured, leaving hundreds of customers within city limits without water service throughout the day.

According to chief water operator Pat Jones, a large 6-foot crack was found in the middle of the pump line, and close to 1,200 gallons of water per minute was lost, along with its lower tank. Crews from James White Construction of Weirton were called out and replaced 17 feet of pipe, which had been located nearly 14 feet underground.

“We had to cut out, somewhere around 17 to 18 foot pipe, replace it, which is approximately 13 to 14 feet under the ground,” Jones said. “We lost the lower tank, by that I mean it put the community out of water.”

According to Jones, the age of the pipe (30-40 years), along with its location, and recent weather conditions may have played a factor in the rupture.

“I think what caused it was the age for one thing, but the other would be the abnormal weather that we’ve had this year in the summer and fall, once it’s trying to dry up,” Jones said. “I think that might have had something to do with it. It just came up and broke.”

Construction crews were able to reconnect the pipe shortly before 12:30 p.m., some 12 hours after the break, and began to cover the pipe with dirt a few hours afterward. Water service was restored later in the day Wednesday, and samples were gathered and sent to the state health department for bacterial tests.

Approximately 440 customers were affected by the break, Jones said. Customers in city limits are being advised to boil their water for the next 24-48 hours as samples are being tested.

As a result of the water outage, the Hancock County Courthouse and magistrate courts were closed for the day, although the New Cumberland Municipal Building — located next door to the courthouse — remained open.

The county 911 center was not affected by the break

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