City says “high” number of boil water advisories not unusual - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

City says “high” number of boil water advisories not unusual

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Less than a week ago, neighbors on Montgomery Avenue in the Rosewood neighborhood in Columbia were among the latest to be affected by a City water main break.

Mel Jenkins has lived on the street for 25 years, but says when a pipe burst last Thursday at 4:30am, that was a first.

"Columbia talks about it being a river city, we didn't expect them to bring a river to our neighborhood though," said Jenkins.

Jenkins said he watched water pour out for hours, and tons of sand from a neighbor's yard project was pushed down the street.

"One of the people said there was a least five feet of water down in their basement," said Jenkins. "I got a fair amount of damage, but some of our neighbors are pretty badly impacted by this."

The break in the Rosewood neighborhood is one of 10 water main breaks since December according to the City of Columbia. Since the start of the year, WIS has reported on several boil water advisories and water main breaks throughout the Midlands and in the City of Columbia's supply area.

City employees say the number of advisories has been high, but not unusual. 

"This time of year we see a lot more water main breaks than we tend to have because of the fluctuation of the temperature," said Joey Jaco, Director of Utilities for the City of Columbia.

Jaco said colder temperatures, change in pressure and change in system demand all can contribute to water line breaks.

"Since we've had these nice warm days, we haven't had any major breaks yet," said Jaco. "Hopefully we'll continue to see some warmer weather and that trend will stay with us."

Jaco said on average the City responds to 250 leaks or breaks every month, but the majority do not warrant a boil water advisory.

Weather aside, Jenkins believes there's a bigger issue.

"This is happening with frequency around the city, as we understand, so there's got to be some really good proactive plan to prevent this sort of thing from happening," he said.

Jaco said while the system is aged, the city is working proactively and has a $40 million infrastructure improvement budget for water lines.

"We're doing everything we can," said Jaco. "As far as, they're saying it's happening a lot right now, I think that's a good thing that we're communicating. That the communication's there."

The City has a third-party claims center that will assess the damage on Montgomery Avenue and work with homeowners like Jenkins. Jenkins said his biggest concern now is what's unseen.

"What we've got to do is get checking under the house and make sure that there's not damage under there, that there's not moisture under there which can translate into mold," he added.

Neighbors on Montgomery Avenue said the City was doing work on a fire hydrant the day before the break happened. We asked the city if the hydrant work could have been related to the break, and they say while there's always a possibility, they do not believe that was the case.

Jenkins told WIS he was not ever aware there was a boil water advisory issued. Jenkins said he was home during the break, but had not seen the news.

The City said when it comes to boil water advisories, it's not procedure for them to go door to door to notify residents. Officials say if it's a small area they will, but otherwise they utilize news outlets, a message system called Nixle, Facebook and Twitter.

"Unfortunately we can't always reach everyone when we send a Boil Water Advisory," said Jaco. "It's just an advisory, [that means] it's possible that something could have gotten in [the water]. It's not a boil water notice where we do know there's evidence of pathogens in the water."

Jaco said they are in the process of working on additional ways to notify residents in the event of a boil water advisory including the possible use reverse 911. But they always encourage anyone in an area where there's been a break or a change of water pressure to boil water. He said to date he's never heard of anyone becoming sick because of a City of Columbia water main break.

Copyright 2013 WIS.  All rights reserved.

 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license

    Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license

    Friday, May 25 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:02:34 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:26 AM EDT2018-05-26 06:26:11 GMT
    (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.(Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>
  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:24 AM EDT2018-05-26 06:24:15 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
  • Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:23 AM EDT2018-05-26 06:23:41 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly