Update: Water shutoff set for second try tonight Faulty valves halted water switch Tuesday

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hemphill Construction Company will try again tonight to connect a new water line at Washington and Main streets after failing to do so Tuesday night, Vicksburg Public Works Director Bubba Rainer said Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s basically going to be the same scenario as last night,” said Rainer. “We’re going to shut the system down around 11 (p.m.) and operate off the reserves in our water towers. If everything goes well, no one should have to boil their water tomorrow morning.”

A new, 30-inch pipe is being moved one block around the site of a March 26 land shift at Washington and Jackson streets via Main, Walnut and Jackson streets. A pair of faulty valves sidelined Hemphill from making the first — and most crucial — of four connections into a new water main Tuesday night.

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The city had anticipated cutting water flow to the city for about four hours while the connection was made. Instead, crews spent all night digging up and repairing valves at Washington and Jackson streets.

“The issues we had last night have been resolved, and our contractor believes they’ll be able to get this done tonight,” Rainer said.

The water main running beneath Washington Street is a vital link in service to all city customers from the Water Treatment Plant at the Vicksburg Harbor north of downtown. Hemphill has been working on the pipe relocation since May 26 and has 30 working days to finish the job under its contract with the city.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to pay for the job, estimated to cost $1.36 million. A Corps’ contract crew that had been doing groundwork since November on a developing museum and interpretive center nearby at the MV Mississippi IV first discovered the land shift, which left a 36-inch water main in jeopardy and several 6 inch-wide cracks along Washington Street.

The connection at Washington and Main streets is just one of four to be made in the water main replacement, but Rainer said the other three will not require any stoppage in flow from the water plant.

As crews attempt to connect the new line at Washington and Main streets again, water to the city’s customers will briefly come from a 1.5 million-gallon reserve supply held in the city’s four water towers. If the job takes more than about four hours, a boil water notice may have to be issued. If necessary, boil water notices will be announced via The Vicksburg Post, www.vicksburgpost.com, local cable Channel 23 and Vicksburg radio stations.