May 21, 2020 10:40 PM

Water service returns to normal following a water main break on Perry Street

Posted May 21, 2020 10:40 PM
The area on Perry Street where the water main break occurred.
The area on Perry Street where the water main break occurred.

By Dewey Terrill

JC Post

UPDATE:

Water service has been completely restored on the east side of Junction City, and Grandview Plaza has avoided running out of water.

That is good news following a water main break on Perry Street in Junction City Thursday morning. There was difficulty stopping the water flow at the site of the break, explained Public Works Director Ray Ibarra. "We were able to shut it down finally at 3:15 this morning.  So it looks like everybody is back up on water pressure. The next step today ( Friday ) will involve digging up the faulty pipe to make repairs, and Public Works must determine if another line is hooked to that pipe.

In Grandview Plaza the City Superintendent, Jerome Thomas, noted that community still had enough water supplies in their tower to run until about 8:30 or 9 a.m. today ( Friday , but now the water pressure is up and water is pumping. There are enough water supplies for that community.

A 10-inch water main break knocked out the majority of the water service to an area on the east side of Junction City including the Geary County Office building plus the Sheriff's Department offices and jail. The Junction City Police Department also had low water pressure. Grandview Plaza purchases water from Junction City but that city does have a 155,000 gallon water tower. As a result of the break on Perry Street between 8th and 10th Streets in Junction City on Thursday morning, the City of Grandview Plaza had to begin using that tower for water supply.

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At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Thursday the Superintendent in Grandview Plaza, Jerome Thomas, said that community still had water service. "As of right now we've probably got enough water to maybe last until 9 o'clock tomorrow ( Friday ) morning, depends on how fast people use it."

Work to prepare for a line stop to prevent the incoming flow of water to the area where the water main break occurred.
Work to prepare for a line stop to prevent the incoming flow of water to the area where the water main break occurred.

Grandview Plaza provided Junction City public works crews a suction pump to help with work at the site of the leak. As of about 8 p.m. Thursday crews had been unable to shut off the incoming water flow to the area where the break occurred. They were digging a ditch to help with the process of putting in a line stop to block the incoming flow of water and allow the restoration of water service to begin to occur. They were hopeful of completing that line stop by midnight. Once the water supply builds back up they could fix the break at a later time.

Release of water through a hydrant
Release of water through a hydrant

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As of 5:35 p.m. Thursday Junction City Public Works crews were still on the scene of a water main break on Perry between 8th and 10th streets. Ray Ibarra, Public Works Director, said there is a 10-inch water line that they have not been able to shut down. "We tried every valve, configuration that we see on the map. There's got to be something that we don't know that's been crossed over or connected that we don't know about. So that's what is causing our problem."

Ibarra said they are going to try to do some construction to reduce the water level in order to see where the break is, and then make repairs. If that is success work could be completed in  the late evening time frame. If not work will continue through the night to determine what must be done.

The water main break resulted in the closure of multiple county offices early, including the Geary County Office Building Thursday afternoon.

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County Clerk Rebecca Nordyke has notified JC Post that the Geary County Office building has had to close early at 12:30 p.m. due to a water main break on Perry Street between Eighth and Tenth Streets. "None of the county facilities have water. We've been told that it will be four to six hours before we do. So obviously we have a health hazard situation here with not being able to have restroom facilities and not being able to washing our hands."

Nordyke added washing your hands is critical with COVID-19.

The Clerk noted that county officials were consulted and the determination was made to close the Office Building at 12:30 p.m.

A check with the Sheriff's Department revealed the administrative offices with the entrance off of Ninth Street were having to close early at 1:30 p.m.

The County Jail will continue to function.