Orchard City's troubled West Main water transmission line encountered another failure over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a report from the trustee water committee.
One of the fused couplings which has experienced previous failures on the HDPE polymer line failed over that weekend. It led water department workers to divert flows to the East Main transmission line, the other of two main treated water transmission lines that form the backbone of the Orchard City distribution system.
Diverting that water, however, created surges in the pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) installed on the East Main line, explained Jimmie Boyd, town trustee and water committee member. The surges produced "water hammering"
effects in the distribution system.
At the trustee water committee meeting on Dec. 9, about a dozen of the town's water customers were present with various complaints about damage to water heaters and other problems said to have been caused by the water hammering.
"We expected one person at the meeting," Boyd told the DCI, "but instead about a dozen showed up."
In his report to the other trustees, Boyd noted that the water customers had been asked to gather and submit estimates for any damage claimed and provide them at the next water committee meeting.
Apparently, the pressure reducing valves installed on the East Main transmission line need to be calibrated to work together in unison. Mayor Don Suppes noted that in spite of the HDPE materials problems that have been encountered on the new West Main line, the pressure-reducing valves on that segment work well.
A hydrologic engineer who worked on the West Main PRVs is being contacted by town officials to see if he can work the same engineering solution on the East Main PRVs.