January 6

Waterville water main break blamed on deep freeze

Cracked pipe under Oak Street repaired Sunday, street reopened after being closed for most of the day.

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — A cracked water main that flooded part of Oak Street was fixed Sunday and the street reopened after being closed for most of the day.

click image to enlarge

BURST: Workers dig up a portion of Oak Street in Waterville that was closed most of Sunday after a water main break sent water flooding on to Oak Street and Drummond Avenue.

Staff file photo by David Leaming

Jeffrey LaCasse, general manager of Kennebec Water District, said Monday that the pipe likely cracked because of frost and caused water to pour out both sides of the street.

With the average temperature at 10 below zero Saturday and in the teens to low 20s Sunday, frozen and broken pipes were also a problem for homeowners and businesses.

LaCasse said the water district’s on-call worker also was busy over the weekend, fixing frozen pipes inside buildings — mostly residential buildings, but some commercial.

LaCasse advised that people make sure the place water lines enters a building is sufficiently heated and the pipes insulated.

Service lines typically enter a building in the basement, but a line also can come through a wall or under a sink, where the air does not move around, he said.

Workers repairing the cracked water main around 45 Oak St. had to excavate to find the location of the crack, which was about 85 inches long.

They closed the pipe off until that part was replaced, according to LaCasse. Area residents were without water until the problem was fixed.

The street was flooded, with about six inches to a foot of water in places, near Ace Tire & Auto Service on Drummond Avenue. The street was closed for most of the day Sunday.

Workers were fixing a water main break on Center Road in Fairfield Sunday morning when they got a call that there was a problem on Oak Street, according to LaCasse.

Amy Calder — 861-9247 acalder@centralmaine.com Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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