GALLIPOLIS — While water is properly flowing from faucets of Gallipolis city water customers, there are still issues that need attention.
According to a news release via City Manager Randy Finney, the vast network of lines is still experiencing some water loss.
“We still have a lot of work to do before we have stability back in the system,” Finney said.
But he said the water loss is nothing compared to the nearly 2 million gallons of water the city was losing per day — starting June 2 and lasting for more than a week — when many Gallipolis residents were ordered to boil water, then lost water service completely. The water crisis forced restaurants to close for several days by order of the Gallia County Health Department.
“We need to know where this water is going so we can make sure this leak has not caused other damage underground,” he said.
According to Finney, city workers are remapping and researching water lines originally installed in the early to mid-1900s. In particular, work is continuing on repairing the two main water line breaks that occurred June 2, affecting thousands of city water customers and leaving the city under a boil advisory through June 11. A temporary bypass line has been in place since June 4 for one of the main water lines under Chickamauga Creek.
“(We) have very limited drawings and details on how these lines are laid in the ground and how they are connected,” Finney said. “We are researching archives and actually remapping these lines.”
Finney said engineering drawings will be developed and bids for construction of the water line under the creek will be obtained, with construction beginning shortly thereafter.
“We expect this process to take two to four weeks and construction to begin shortly after that,” Finney said.
The second broken line, a 12-inch water line, has been identified as the source of the second leak and the lack of water pressure, has been valved off.
Officials believe the leak to be between the intersections of Fourth Avenue and Vine Street to State Route 141 and State Route 7. Officials plan to install a new valve within the coming week, and at night use sound detection equipment to identify where the water is headed.
“The current valve on this line is not functioning properly and we do not want to reopen the line to find the leak until we replace this valve,” Finney said.
Finney added that the city staff have appreciated the support they’ve received during the water crisis.
“It has been a trying time for all affected, but with everyone’s understanding it has made it better to endure,” he said.”We have many weeks of work to do before we have all the lines functioning properly. We will keep you updated as work progresses.”