Water main ruptured by sudden power spike in Wilder

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Eric Francis

Water is safe to drink in Wilder and White River Junction despite some discoloration

WILDER - The main water line leading down from the town of Hartford's wells in Wilder to downtown White River Junction was ruptured first thing Tuesday morning, apparently as the result of a power spike that was noticed across much of the town.

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    Although the electrical service automatically restored itself in the blink of an eye, the resulting re-set of water pumping equipment in Wilder sent a surge of water through the system that ruptured the 8-inch drinking water line that runs underneath a section of Hartford Avenue near the intersection with Frost Park Road.

The water main break initially flooded a stretch of Hartford Avenue which is also Route 5 through Wilder

    Town officials said late Tuesday afternoon that all water service had been restored and, expect for eight houses that are within sight of the main break which got written "boil order" notices put on their front doors, there is no need for anyone to take precautions beyond perhaps letting any tap water that might have been discolored because of sediment knocked loose within the pipes just run for a bit until it clears back up.

    "We had a little power surge around 9:45 this morning," noted Everett Hammond, Hartford's Utilities Supervisor.  "We didn't know for sure if that's what did this or not but when the plant kicks back on it can cause a 'water hammer' and this is an asbestos-cement line right here that broke.  It's not as rugged as the old cast iron water lines."

    Hammond said the broken line likely dates from the 1960s.

    "It is on a schedule to eventually be replaced but we are still a couple of years out from that," he said.

Hartford Utilities Supervisor Everett Hammond (white hat) was in charge at the scene of the break

Hartford's Water, Highway, and Waste Water departments all sent workers and equipment to help

Vermont News can be contacted at vermontnews802@gmail.com

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