Major water main break could take a week to fix

Major water main break could take a week to fix

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond Department of Public Utilities says a water main break early on Monday will take about seven days to fix.

Susan Minyard is one of dozens along the block in the Museum District who experienced a disruption in water services Monday after a huge water main break at the intersection of Cumberland and Harrison streets.

"The water main breaks do seem to be pretty substantial," Minyard said.

This recent break at the intersection of Cumberland and Harrison is not the first time she's had to deal with the city's pipe problems.

"I experienced this personally with some of the breaks in a previous house where the sewage broke," Minyard said.

With approximately 987 miles of water line throughout the city, some dating back to the 1800s, it most likely won't be the last. Since 2009 the Department of Public utilities has replaced about 16 miles of pipe. They still have about 248 miles to replace, about 25 percent. 

"Infrastructure is just old, and I think that is just part of the older city living," Minyard said.

Kathy Harbert also lives in the Museum District. She didn't notice a change in her water pressure, but like most, she also wants the problems fixed. Prior to fiscal year 2014, DPU budgeted roughly $2 million per year toward pipe replacement.

"I do think the issue needs to be addressed, I know that they have done some work around our neighborhood from time to time," Harbert said.

That number has since been increase to about $4 million per year.

"It's a massive project, no doubt, and I think the City of Richmond is being a lot more responsive than a lot of the other north eastern cities," Minyard said.

Utility leaders say the water main break was not scheduled for replacement and had no prior history of failure.

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