water main break

The Louisville Water Company isn’t sure whether last night’s water main break is related to a rupture four weeks earlier.

The 48-inch pipe that burst at Eastern Parkway and Crittenden Drive this week is a different section of the same pipe that broke last month at Floyd and Warnock streets.

The first break has been repaired, and at the time of the second break, crews were still returning pressure to the main. When pipes lose then regain pressure, existing but unnoticed weaknesses can worsen.

“If it’s related, we don’t know,” says water company spokeswoman Kelley Dearing-Smith. “But when you have a break like you did in July with that tremendous loss of pressure, there could be follow-up problems or incidents that you just don’t know about until something happens.”

Pipes are regularly inspected, but the company hopes to update its methods this year with a new pilot program.

“We actually have a program that we’re piloting this fall that’s going to allow us to inspect transmission mains while they’re still under pressure, while they’re still providing water,” says Dearing-Smith. “It’s a new technology that we’re really excited about and we’re hoping to implement it, I believe, in September.”

The new system was planned before the water main break.

There is still a boil advisory in effect for customers near the broken main. Check here for the map.

Update: The water company has released a statement outlining infrastructure inspections and improvements:

a. Since 1992, Louisville Water has committed up to $10 million a year to replace and rehabilitate water
b. In 2010, we implemented new technology that allows us to identify potential issues with transmission
mains (the larger pipes in our system) using remote sensing technology, a robot of sorts that moves
through the pipe.   Our efforts began with pre‐stressed concrete transmission main and the sensors look
for problems with wires that give the pipe its strength. We’re investing approximately $15 million over the
next 10 years to inspect over 100 miles of main.
c. We just completed a research project with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate new
technology for inspecting transmission mains.
d. This fall, we will implement new technology to inspect a large transmission main while it is filled with
water.   We will pilot the program on a 60” transmission main.

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Water Company Isolates Broken Main

by Gabe Bullard August 12, 2011

The Louisville Water Company has isolated another broken water main near the University of Louisville campus. The main burst around 9 pm and the water company reported that service returned to normal at 10:45. The break comes days after a main at Floyd and Warnock streets that broke last month was replaced. This week, crews […]

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Water Main Repairs Complete, Testing Continues

by Gabe Bullard August 8, 2011

The Louisville Water Company is slowly increasing the water pressure in a new section of pipe recently installed near the University of Louisville campus. The section replaces the main that ruptured last month, flooding U of L and leaving much of central Louisville under a boil advisory for days. The repairs took several weeks and […]

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Workers Looking For Cause Of Water Main Break

by Rick Howlett July 19, 2011

Workers have begun inspecting the water main that burst last week on the University of Louisville campus, looking for the cause of the rupture. The July 11 break sent millions of gallons of water onto the campus and prompted a boil advisory for a large portion of the city. Water company spokeswoman Kelley Dearing-Smith says […]

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Water Main Repairs to Begin This Week

by Gabe Bullard July 17, 2011

Repairs on the broken water main at Floyd and Warnock streets will begin this week. The 80-year-old pipe burst last Monday, releasing more than 40 million gallons of water into the University of Louisville’s Belnkap campus and the surrounding area. The break also caused a severe drop in water pressure and put much of central […]

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Water Main Repairs Could Take Three Weeks

by Gabe Bullard July 15, 2011

Repairs to a water main that burst on Monday evening could take up to three weeks according to the Louisville Water Company. The 48-inch, 80-year-old pipe ruptured near Floyd and Warnock streets. More than 40 million gallons of water flooded U of L’s Belknap campus and the leak caused a drop in pressure and boil […]

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Final Boil Advisory Lifted

by Gabe Bullard July 14, 2011

The final boil advisory caused by a massive water main break has been lifted. A 48-inch pipe burst on Monday evening, causing flooding, a drop in water pressure and a boil advisory for much of central Louisville. The advisory was lifted in phases over the week, but now no longer stands for any part of […]

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Update: Water Main Break Presents Further Challenges, One Area Remains Under Boil Advisory

by Gabe Bullard July 13, 2011

Louisville Water Company crews have reached the broken section of a water main that burst on Monday night. There’s an eight-foot rupture in the four-foot-wide pipe near Floyd and Warnock streets. The company will have to move an embankment and close some lanes of Eastern Parkway to make the repairs, and it could be a […]

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Boil Advisory Lifted for Many Residents

by Gabe Bullard July 12, 2011

The boil advisory put in place after a massive water main break on the University of Louisville campus has been lifted for a majority of affected residents. It will remain in place in two areas. Taylor Blvd to Crittenden Drive and Winkler to the Watterson Preston Highway to Poplar Level and Shelby at Goss to […]

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Broken Water Main Inspection Begins, Boil Advisory to Last Until Evening

by Gabe Bullard July 12, 2011

The water boil advisory for central Louisville is expected to remain in effect until this evening. The advisory was put in place last night after a 48-inch water main broke on the University of Louisville campus. It covers the area north of the Watterson and between Ninth Street and Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue. The […]

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