Water main break leaves 350 dry

More than 350 Marietta water customers, including the Frontier Shopping Center, were without water service for approximately nine hours after a water main broke Wednesday afternoon.

“The break was in a 6-inch main at the corner of Seventh and Washington streets around 3 p.m.,” said Randy McKenzie, distribution foreman at the Marietta water treatment plant.

He said a crew of five worked until after midnight to repair the break which was apparently due to a weakened spot in one of the city’s older water lines.

In order to reduce pressure enough to fix the breach, McKenzie said valves had to be opened on about six fire hydrants along the main water line.

“We had it repaired by 12:30 a.m., but a boil advisory had to be issued for customers in the area for about 24 hours,” he said, adding that lab testing would have to be completed before the advisory could be lifted.

The water outage impacted customers in areas of Gross Street, Clifton Street, Seventh Street, St. Marys Avenue, and adjacent streets, and included Ridgewood Apartments, The Arbors nursing facility, and the Frontier Center.

Due to the boil advisory, the McDonald’s restaurant on Glendale Road near the Frontier Center, was unable to serve neither iced tea nor coffee Thursday, according to owner Laurie Strahler.

“We’re very conscientious about being safe for our customers, so we immediately stopped serving tea and coffee, although the store has a very advanced filtration system in place,” she said. “And we really hated to disappoint our coffee customers (Thursday morning), but this was out of our control.”

Strahler said some employees were stationed on the lot outside the restaurant to alert drive-thru customers that coffee and tea would not be available until the boil advisory is lifted.

“We were able to stay open, but served soda and bottled water for drinks,” she said, adding that the city health inspector gave permission for the store to remain open as long as bottled water was being served.

The water service interruption caused no major problems at the Arbors, according to Miranda Duty, receptionist at the nursing facility.

“We brought in bottled water for the residents, but everything is OK. We’ve been through this before,” she said.

Debbie Morrison, rental agent for Ridgewood Apartments, said there was some confusion at first when the water service was interrupted because the apartment complex was having its own water system being repaired Wednesday.

“But when we learned there had been a break in the city’s water main we posted notices in all of the stairways telling residents to boil their drinking water until the advisory is lifted,” she said.

The boil advisory remained in effect Thursday afternoon and customers were advised to continue boiling water used for drinking until notified through local media that the advisory has been lifted.

Until then customers who experienced the service interruption or loss of pressure Wednesday should rapid boil water for 1 to 2 minutes before using it for drinking purposes.

All customers should flush their own service lines and water usage taps until the water runs clear. Brown or white water are normal discolorations that may occur after a water service interruption.