Water main break in Eagle is successfully repaired
Three homes lost water service during the break Friday, others reported low water pressure, discoloration
A water main break in Eagle Friday afternoon left three homes without access to water and approximately 20 to 30 others may have experienced discoloration or a temporary loss in water pressure.
The break occurred southwest of the Brush Creek Village neighborhood and a crew worked late into the night to have the issue resolved at about 1:30 a.m. early Saturday morning, the town’s Utility Manager Stephan Wilson said Monday.
Things should be back to normal now for impacted residents in the Orchard, Soleil, Brush Creek Village neighborhood and the Terrace, Wilson said.
His own street in the Soleil development was among the most impacted areas and he reported a loss in water pressure. The town issued a “boil advisory” to residents Friday evening, but Wilson said this was mainly out of an abundance of caution.
“We didn’t know what was happening at that time, but there’s no reason to mistrust the water,” Wilson said. “We had a color change and we wanted to let people know why they may be seeing a change in the water. And then also give them a recommendation and if it made them feel more comfortable.”
Any event that causes a high rate of water flow can cause normal sediment in the water pipes to become mixed with the water, causing discoloration, Wilson said.
The advisory for residents in the impacted neighborhoods to boil any water for drinking runs through Wednesday, Nov. 17. The situation has been remedied since early Saturday morning, but the town will receive the results of some lab testing Wednesday to double-check the quality of the water, Wilson said.
“We’re just kind of going above and beyond to make sure the water is how we like it and passes with flying colors and then we’ll send out an update after that,” he said.
For now, he said he has been telling residents that the water is safe to drink, but encourages people to do what makes them feel most comfortable. If that means boiling their water, it should be brought to a rolling boil for a few minutes before drinking. It is not necessary to boil water used for other purposes like showering or washing dishes, he said.
Eagle resident Samantha Young, who lives in The Orchard, reported some discoloration in her water but said that her main complaint was what she saw as a lack of communication from the town.
The town of Eagle put out a Facebook post notifying residents that the water main break could lead to decreased water pressure or sediment deposits in their water stream at 7:43 p.m. Friday. The break occurred at approximately 2 p.m., according to the post. The information was also sent out through Eagle County Alerts and an email blast to residents.
“We should have been notified right away,” Young said. “How much did everyone consume before we were notified?”
The three homeowners who lost water service completely each received a call from the town with information on what to do, Wilson said. They were advised to purchase water from the store to last them through the night.
Young, on the other hand, said she found out from a neighbor’s Facebook post.
“Once we saw our neighbor’s post we checked our water against white porcelain in our sinks and, low and behold, it was yellow,” Young said in a written statement Monday. “But to the naked eye, you can’t see that out of a faucet.”
More than anything, Young said her confusion around the situation made her anxious as she did not know how to respond. She spent all weekend boiling water for her family and their dog to drink as well as bathwater for her newborn baby.
“We haven’t heard anything since,” she said. “So we’re all just kind of twiddling our thumbs, boiling our water, waiting for more guidance.”
“The biggest help has been from fellow neighbors in our community keeping each other informed and making sure everyone has what we need to get by,” she added. “And for that, we’re very grateful.”
Town staff identified the water main break after a large quantity of water was reported flowing from the ground in the pasture land immediately southwest of the Brush Creek Village neighborhood Friday afternoon.
The broken segment of the water pipe was able to be isolated by closing valves, and the leaking was stopped, according to the town’s Facebook post.
The cause of the water main break remains unknown, but town staff are looking into two possibilities.
The first is what Wilson called a “water hammer event,” which is when water in a pipe stops or accelerates rapidly causing an increase in pressure in the line.
“The other possibility is the construction methods used back in the ‘70s when this pipe would have been installed aren’t as robust as today’s construction methods, so the rocks in the soil laid around the pipe could have placed pressure on the pipe over time,” Wilson said.
The town has been monitoring Brush Creek in the area of the break. Wilson reported that “the fish and conditions in Brush Creek appear to be unaffected by the break.”
Eagle residents can expect another update on the situation by Wednesday, Wilson said.
Email Kelli Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org