Bridge work ruptures water line

Published 8:37 am Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WINDSOR – Despite a rupture in the water main here Saturday, customers of the town were able to continue receiving clean water.

According to Windsor Town Administrator Allen Castelloe, the main was ruptured shortly before 2 p.m. during construction of the new Cashie River Bridge.

“They were driving a piling into the ground at the construction site and struck a new 14-inch main that was installed in October as part of the project,” Castelloe said.

The Town Administrator said Utilities Director William Coburn was called and immediately went to the scene.

“When I arrived, I had already contacted Bertie County to tie into their water system through an interconnect we have,” Coburn said. “I saw the water shooting up and began work immediately to close the tie-in to our system and open the one to Bertie County. After that was done, we tied off the one to the leak.”

Coburn and Castelloe said they were appreciative of Bertie County allowing them to tie in immediately and said that is exactly why the interconnect exists.

“The water quality or supply to our citizens was never jeopardized,” Castelloe said. “It is good water that is provided thanks to Bertie County.”

In fact, Castelloe said the connection to Bertie County happened so quickly that most Windsor utility customers never lost water pressure.

Exactly what happened to cause the piling to be driven through the water line is unknown at this time. Officials with the town are not certain if the water line was placed incorrectly or if the piling was being placed improperly.

“That’s why we have engineers and they’re working on it already,” Castelloe said. “They’ll figure out exactly what happened and tell us where we go from here.”

Whatever turns out to be the problem, the likelihood is that the entire project that allowed for the new main to be put into the ground will have to begin again from scratch.

“That’s what we think right now, but again we’ll allow the engineers to work on it and tell us the best way for it to be fixed,” Castelloe said.

Until such time as the work can begin to put down the main line, Windsor customers will continue to be serviced by the Bertie County water system.

“We’ll continue as we are now until we’re able to make the necessary repairs which could take some time,” Castelloe said. “Fortunately, our customers are in good hands. Everything is fine as far as water.”