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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Eggs fly at park
Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.
City awaits funds for Water Street project
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However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.
Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades
Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.
KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13
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May 30 last school day for students
After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.
Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza
Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.
Ward honored for service; tech center named after him
Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.
Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts
A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.
Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.
Police apprehend burglary suspect
An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.
Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’
Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.
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