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‘Historic’ water main break: Charlotte Water says broken transmission pipe nearly 70 years old



CHARLOTTE Local Charlotte News — The director of Charlotte Water calls it a “historic” water main break in Charlotte.

The Charlotte Water director says a huge transmission pipe broke affecting people in the University area to South End to Ballantyne and Steele Creek.

Crews are taking samples from hundreds of monitoring stations and sending them off to labs. It could be around 4 p.m. Wednesday before they get the results back and get the system back to normal.

“This is one of the most serious, largest ones that we have. This one was historical,” said Angela Charles, Director of Charlotte Water.

Water gushed out of the greenway at Revolution Park on Remount Road.

Charlotte Water can’t give us a number of customers impacted because they say it was not on every street or in every neighborhood

But if you lost water, you need to continue to boil it before cooking or drinking.

“This pipe is large enough for me to crawl in. It’s also 15 feet underneath that creek bed,” said Charles.

Charlotte Water says the main that broke is 36 inches in diameter and it’s a 66-year-old transmission pipe that carries large volumes of water.

Age could have been a factor, but crews are still working to find a cause. The Charlotte Water Director didn’t answer whether there were warning signs, but says there’s a system for rehab and renewal of the pipes.

“We go in and we look at different factors pipe type, we look at pipe age, we look at location, we look at repair records and we go in and rehab our water pipes in our system to keep our infrastructure up to par,” said Charles

The director responded to criticism that residents weren’t notified they needed to boil water sooner. She says they have to evaluate the scope of the issue first.

“We feel like we responded quickly, but there’s room for improvement on once the decision is made to get the information out to our customer base.”

Charles is not in Charlotte. She answered questions in a news conference from Chicago where she’s at a conference getting an award. She isn’t leaving the conference early because of the water main break, but her staff says she’s in constant communication with them.

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