Busted water main in Walker County shuts off water to hundreds - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Busted water main in Walker County shuts off water to hundreds

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WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- A broken water main on Mission Ridge Road cut off water to nearly 2,000 homes Friday morning.

"I got up, I imagine it was close to 1:30 a.m., tried to flush and nothing happened," explained Richard McGibony. "I turned the water on, nothing. I said, ‘Oh Lord'." His front yard turned into a raging river early that morning. "Man, I could hear that water running in this ditch right here. I said uh oh, we got a main."

Just feet up the road from his house one of Walker County's main water pipelines busted but crews had to wait for hours to repair it.

"By law we're required to do that and we have to allow three hours at least for them to come out and locate other utilities that may be buried in the ground," explains Walker County Coordinator David Ashburn.

The digging began around 5:30 a.m., by that time Ashburn said between 1,600 and 1,800 surrounding homes were without water. "We have a much larger area out of water because there were not enough valves to shut down a smaller area," Ashburn said.

A brand new valve is one of the first repairs made to the 25-year-old pipeline. It is said to be the best you can put in the ground and is designed to last 70 to 80 years. However, the pipe busted about a half-a-century too early and the reason might as well be washed away with the mud.

"Unfortunately pipes are in the ground and ground shifts and moves," said Ashburn. He said this is one of the biggest leaks he'd seen in Walker County. Thankfully nearby businesses were not affected but the nearly 2,000 homes and residents who were know firsthand that you don't know what you've got until it's gone.

"We take all this stuff for granted, lights and water. When you're without it man you're hurting and I feel for these people that really have to go a long time," McGibony said.

Ashburn said water was restored to all of the homes by mid-afternoon Friday.

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