DANVILLE – With another water main break on the east side of North Vermilion Street last week, Aqua Illinois is looking at interim and long-term solutions.
The water main break affects restaurants, Christie Clinic, other businesses and residents, including in Vermilion House, in addition to the motoring public with part of North Vermilion Street being blocked off. There is a temporary water shut off during repairs, with this latest one lasting about half a day, and a precautionary boil order was lifted after 24 hours.
The water main break June 5 was again near the Ray O’Herron Co. building in the 3500 block of North Vermilion Street. Water started leaking about 10 a.m. that day and the repair was completed and water was back on by that night, said Aqua Illinois Area Manager Bob Ervin.
Questions have arisen about providing water to customers during these water shutoffs, such as elderly persons who live in Vermilion House.
Ervin said “it’s not something we have a requirement to do.”
He said if there was an extreme situation they were aware of it would be a different case; but this is a temporary outage. Restaurants have back up plans such as using bottled soda and cans, he added.
Ervin said of last week’s water main break, there was “a large blow hole” that needed to be repaired. He said there’s a 650-foot stretch that’s the real problem area along there in which pressure creates weak spots in the water main.
“We obviously don’t want (customers) out of service,” Ervin said.
For repairs, they can put on a repair clamp and cut out the pipe section for replacement. It also takes time to fix the roadway with flowable fill.
“Restoration is a little bit more time consuming,” Ervin said about the state highway.
There have been multiple water main breaks in that same area, but not on the west side where Aqua Illinois completed its lined water main project.
Ervin said the east side line is a 16-inch main, bigger than the west side.
“That main is really designed to take water to the north end of our service system,” he said, about the West Newell Road and Menards area, including to fill the tank near there that provides additional water storage.
Ervin said customers along the east side of North Vermilion Street are tapped into that water main, too.
“The pipe is older and cast iron,” he said. “That main is moved up on our priority list.”
He said they are trying to decide their plans for replacement or lining it. There will be challenges with temporary water service.
In the interim, however, Aqua is looking at installing additional valves so it can isolate a smaller area of those affected during breaks. Putting in some valves can minimize the customers without water temporarily in that area during repairs, he said.
Another option Aqua officials are looking at is “maybe connecting the water service across the street along the 8-inch main,” Ervin said.