Main break leaves homes and elementary school without water: UPDATE

Friday, January 22, 2010 | 7:07 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA - A water main break that disrupted service to New Haven Elementary school and about 80 homes has been repaired.

Paul Smith, the construction foreman for Public Water Supply District 9, said he received a page about 2:20 a.m. alerting him to the break, which required the replacement of three fittings.

Smith and his group had the break repaired by Friday afternoon. Workers for the district put hangers on the doors of about 55 homes instructing residents to boil water for drinking or cooking.

Smith said he believes that freeze and thaw in the ground put too much pressure on the pipes. He said the district is replacing the fittings with higher-quality ones, which should not burst as easily.

The break left New Haven Elementary School without running water. Though the school dismissed at 12:30 p.m., the cafeteria served lunch but had to streamline the menu in order to have as few dishes to wash as possible, said Laina Fullum, director of nutrition services for Columbia Public Schools.

The cafeteria served sack lunches of peanut butter and jelly or deli sandwiches. The district also provided bottled water to the students because the drinking fountains were not working, Fullum said.

About 75 homes in the Woodstock Mobile Home Park lost water as well, according to the park’s office. The break also affected five or six homes besides the school and mobile home park, Smith said.

Water service to nearby businesses was not affected.


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