By Tia Lynn Ivey
A City of Madison water main broke at the intersection of I-20 and 441 on Thursday, May 11, causing a water service shutdown for about six hours. The main was repaired by 9 p.m. Thursday evening, but due to the lowered water pressure from the break, the city issued a “boiling water” notice for customers in the affected parts of the city, from McDonald’s to down south across I-10 to Madison Lakes.
According to City Manager David Nunn, the shutdown and water boiling notice affected about 150 City of Madison water customers, especially the businesses on that section of 441.
“I would say the businesses were hit the hardest,” said Nunn. “But they were all very understanding and patient and helped get the word out while we fixed it.”
The city was forced to issue the boiling water warning due to concerns of biological contamination made possible by the water main breakage.
“This notice is required by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division when water pressure drops below 20 psi. The boiled water is for drinking and cooking purposes or you may use bottled water until bacteriological samples can be collected and tested. Water for drinking and cooking purposes should be boiled for one minute. Water is safe for uses other than drinking and cooking. Water should be boiled until notice is lifted by the City of Madison,” read the City’s notice.
Nunn was pleased to lift the boiling water alert on Saturday, May 13 after receiving the green light from a lab in Newton County that tested Madison water samples and deemed it safe once again. The break in the water main was caused while a contractor was installing a sign nearby.
“During the installation process they hit the water main by accident,” said Nunn. According to Nunn, the repair only cost the city about $1000 in extra labor and parts, however he anticipated future work to be done.
“We didn’t have the exact parts that we wanted to fix it. We had to improvise a little and we were pleased with the way it turned out,” explained Nunn. “Even though the main is in good shape now and stable, once we get the perfect parts in, we will probably schedule a short outage again to go back in and do it exactly right. But that will be well publicized when the time comes.”