WYOMING, Mich. –It has been 24 hours since a massive water main break at the intersection of 44th Street and Clay Avenue in Wyoming happened. Water continues to gush from the ground.
“The biggest challenge we’re having with this particular water main break, which is unusual, is just getting the water shut down so that we can make the repairs. Normally we are able to shut down valves and get to the work and complete all of that within 4 hours, this particular water main, which isn’t unusually large, we’re not able to shut down all of the valves.” Public Works Director Bill Dooley said.
Advanced Valve Technology of Grand Rapids has been called in to help with the broken valve.
Dooley estimated it to take until around 8p.m. on Friday for the water to get stopped. Actual repair work on the line could go until midnight, if not later, he added.
“This won’t affect our utility rate payers; this is unfortunately the cost of doing business. When we do have a water main break we lose water, but that is just part of our cost of doing business.” Dooley said.
Three restaurants and a motel across U.S. 131 on 44th Street had to shut down, due to little or no water.
Residents on Clay Avenue are safe to drink their water and have only been affected by the muddy, wet mess the flowing water has left.
“The repair work itself is not usually very expensive, but in this case, because of where it is, the restoration work is going to be very expensive, to restore the roadway here, eventually will probably be in the range of $50 to $60,000.” Dooley said.
The particular 16 inch line that broke was cast iron and dates back to 1955, which is not unusual to have it break this time of year, Dooley added. The City of Wyoming has about 12 water main breaks a year, with about three of them being 16 inch lines. However, they usually only take about four hours to fix.
“Wyoming benefits from a very good water system,” Dooley said. “A lot of the city was built after the 1970s so a majority of our water main in the city is made out of a material called ductile iron. And we do not have water main breaks with that particular material.”
Westbound drivers on 44th Street from Division, should avoid the area until about Sunday or Monday.