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Residents Have Water Again After Broken Pipe is Fixed in Phenix City

PHENIX CITY, Ala (WRBL) - In Phenix City a community is relieved their water is now back running after being shut off for most of the day.

Several area residents were left dry after a broken pipe flooded the area near idle hour park with the water meant for their homes.

It happened around 4am Saturday morning, and Phenix City Utilities immediately received several calls from residents on the north side of town who had no running water.

Joe Barnes was one of those residents with concerns. He says he called in expecting a quick fix, but after several hours with no luck, he decided to check out the site for himself.

"When we got up this morning we noticed we didn't have water so we called the water company and they said well, they had a bursted pipe somewhere off of Summerville Road, which happened to be Idle Hour Park," he says. "I decided I was gonna get in the truck and just see what was going on, and I get here and see they've got a mess."

According to Phenix City Director of Utilities Stephen Smith, the burst was caused by old age.
He says the broken pipe was around 70 to 80 years old...and many of the pipes in the area are around the same age or older.

"Some of the pipes in this area, here and Columbus both, are over 100 years old and they don't last forever, and unfortunately this one picked a time on Saturday morning to bust out on us."

The pressure from the burst pipe was so strong that this fire hydrant had to be opened up so that crews could go in and replace the old pipe with a new one.

Crews worked for hours on end to replace the pipe and to get the water turned back on.
Though the city does try to take care of the pipes so they don't burst and leave residents in a drought, smith says they are bound to break at some point.

"We do put anti-corrosion, you know, chemicals in the system ot try to keep it up and we try to monitor it on a regular basis, but old pipes, eventually they're gonna crack and break," he says. That's why you have repair crews to go out here to take care of it."

Barnes suggests that the city takes even more preventative action to ensure that a situation like Saturday's doesn't happen again.

 "I know there's problems with the pipes because no one wants to spend the money on them, but there ought to be some sort of pressure test that they can do to determine before it happens instead of putting everybody out when it happens."

Though the water is back up and running, the pressure is not quite back to normal, but the director of utilities says it should be at 100 percent by late Saturday night.

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