Water service and normal water pressure fully restored in Richmond

Posted at 8:14 AM, Jan 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-20 07:54:05-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A break in the Byrd Park Pumping Station water line near Harrison and Cumberland Streets resulted in a massive water outage in Richmond Monday morning. Department of Public Utilities spokeswoman Angela Fountain said it was not an ordinary break.

"It is a 24-inch main," said Fountain. "It is affecting all of downtown, and parts north of downtown, the Fan, the Museum District."

Water main break  knocks out service to several Richmond neighborhoods. (PHOTO: Brad Wilson)

Water main break knocks out service to several Richmond neighborhoods. (PHOTO: Brad Wilson)

"[A] 24-inch water main break at Cumberland and Harrison, leak isolated, working to restore VCU Hospital Systems first, working all day and night," a department spokesperson tweeted. "Worst case scenario is some people might not have water back until late tonight, but hopefully that won't happen."

Fountain said just after 4 p.m. that water had been restored to all customers, as well as normal water pressure. There is not a "boil water" advisory in place. Work will continue on the main.

Neighbors from Richmond's Fan, Museum District and Byrd Park neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods north of downtown Richmond contacted WTVR with questions after waking up Monday without water.

Carol Hansen was inside a  Carytown Kroger enjoying her coffee when news of the massive main break was announced over the intercom.

"We couldn't use the bathrooms for quite awhile, so we were very lucky to get our coffee first," said Hansen.

But whether that cup of joe was safe to drink, got confusing Monday as details of a boil advisory were being flushed out.

The Department of Public Utility issued a brief advisory Monday afternoon then retracted it saying it was premature and the water was safe.

Shams Hassan, who just finished a cup of water at a nearby eatery, felt the boil back and forth is hard to swallow. "It kind of makes me feel uneasy I guess because you don't really know what you're drinking you don't know what can harm your body," said Hassan.

Crews spent all day Monday flushing water to pinpoint the location of the break.  They hope to have it repaired no later than Tuesday.

"They have a very tough job because they have to dig down it's kind of akin to surgery there are other pipes in the ground there's concrete there's other things like that they need to dig through to find out exactly where that break has occurred," said Fountain.



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