SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Salem is still working to fix a water line break that’s affecting about half of the city.
Crews worked through the night and into Friday morning to replace a 19-foot piece of pipe. The work should be done around 11 a.m.
Areas still affected by the break are residents along New Garden Avenue and Prospect Street. About 20 customers are still without water.
The calls started to come in to the police dispatch center a little after 5 p.m. on Thursday, reporting issues with people’s water around town.
Soon, there was a river flowing down New Garden Avenue. Nate Wynn and Dylan Mills were hanging out at a friend’s place when the rare site happened.
“Water pressure dropped to a dribble. Wondered what was going on. I heard the sirens,” Wynn said.
The main water line running under New Garden Avenue has been there since 1946.
“At that age, looking close to 70 years, it’s a very old line,” Salem Utilities Superintendent Don Weingart said.
It has been four years since the last major water main break in Salem.
But Weingart said the main is so large it impacted about half of the city’s 12,000 residents.
The main issue around the city was low water pressure. Around 8 p.m. Thursday, the source of the leak was finally localized.
“As soon as the valve is closed, the pressure should come back immediately,” Weingart said.
For restaurants in the downtown area, they fared surprisingly well during the break.
“I guess if anything, it’s going to help us by bringing us business. They can’t cook at home. We have low water pressure, but we have water. I’m thankful for that because a restaurant with no water is going to hurt you,” Mike’s Penn Avenue Grille owner Mike Mosteller said.
Crews were out monitoring the place of the water main break because of water underneath the pavement.
Weingart said that within the last couple of hours, the number of customers affected is down to less than a dozen. They still have not found the source of the leak.
As of late Thursday, residents were not being told to boil their water.