Downtown water main breaks, is fixed

A break in a cast-iron water main line disrupted city water service in the Homer downtown area on Monday and Tuesday. City crews have repaired the line, and service should be back to normal, said Public Works Director Carey Meyer.

“By the end of today we should have mains flushed and pressure restored to its normal pressures,” he said on Tuesday.

The break happened in a portion of the line along Pioneer Avenue between Svedlund and Main Streets. It affected customers north of Pioneer Avenue and between Heath Street and West Hill Road. East End Road, the Homer Spit, Old Town and the Beluga Lake areas were not affected.

Public Works got reports of colored water and fluctuating pressure, Meyer said. The cast-iron pipe broke laterally in a spiral fracture.

“It was kind of an ugly break, a lot more water lost out of the pipe than we normally encounter,” Meyer said. “It stirred up the system a little bit.”

Water safety wasn’t affected by sediment, he said. Crews repaired the 8-inch diameter pipe by digging it up, removing the broken section and splicing in a new piece. Sediment was flushed out by opening up fire hydrants. 

Meyer didn’t know the exact cause of the break, but said older cast-iron pipe is more susceptible to ground stresses and can break over time. High-density polyethylene pipe used today is more flexible and less susceptible to ground heaving and freezing. The warm fall and lack of ground frost made repairs easier, Meyer said.

Customers who see cloudy water can clear pipes by running a faucet tap for 5 to 10 minutes, Meyer said. On Tuesday he said there hadn’t been as many reports of silty water.

“I think the issue has been resolved,” he said.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read