An effort to clean out old water lines downtown to combat “red water” and low-pressure ended up taking quite a bit longer than Richmond Utility officials expected this week.
The water line work, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, actually went well into the night with some houses on Woodland Avenue not getting water service back until Wednesday afternoon.
Also, residents along Woodland Avenue, Glyndon Avenue and Moberly Avenue between Third and Fifth streets who did get their water service back Tuesday night were under a routine 24-hour boil water advisory.
Water Quality Specialist Lonnie Banks said a boil-water advisory is issued any time a main water line has been opened up to the air and possible contaminants.
After water samples were tested, the boil-water advisory was lifted late Wednesday afternoon.
Water Superintendent Danny Pearson said the aging water lines downtown have posed significant problems for people living in the area. Some of the pipelines date back to the 1930s, he said.
Build-up within the lines has caused pipes to get smaller, reducing water pressure. Also, especially in the hot temperatures of summer, some of the build-up can breakaway into the water, causing rusty, or “red water” to come out of residents’ taps.
“We’ve had to deal with more red water for the past few months,” Pearson said.
Hydrants along several downtown streets were being flushed on an almost daily basis to combat the discolored water problem, according to Banks.
Another problem affecting downtown water flow quality is residential usage has declined as more houses have become vacant, Pearson said. Manual hydrant flushing also has been used to deal that issue, which can affect the water flow to nearby occupied houses.
In the past, Richmond Utilities typically replaced, or re-lined, areas where the pipes had narrowed significantly. However, this time the utility tried a new process to clean out the pipes.
“It’s the first time we’ve done this,” Pearson said.
Because it was the first time, Pearson said the work took longer than expected and some problems were encountered. A few service lines to houses along Woodland Avenue needed repair, and water was shut off for longer periods to those homes. There also was a break to a main water line during the work.
“We’ve had quite a bit of trouble,” Pearson said.
If the water pressure and discolored water problems are resolved in the Woodland/Glyndon area, the utility hopes to use the same cleaning process in other areas of downtown, Pearson said. But first the utility will have to look at the how successful the cleaning was, plus its cost effectiveness and the length of service disruption to water customers, Pearson noted.
PVC pipe is a petroleum-based product that has increased in cost as oil prices have risen. Pearson said the price of PVC pipe has tripled in the past six years, so looking at alternative means of cleaning up the water lines has been a priority.
To clean out the water main, utility workers dug holes into the road along Woodland Avenue that were later covered with a temporary gravel mixture. Pearson said after that has settled for a week or two, the city will repave those areas.
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YMCA, county district to provide after-school care
The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.
Memories bloom in May’s garden
After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.
Water Street storm-water digging begins
Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.
RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home
Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.
Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea
Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.
A race to the finish line
Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.
Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society
Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.
Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.
Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’
Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.
At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.
That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.
Fire training tower going up
A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.
Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.
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