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Neighbors stew over wasted water

This normally dry culvert off Twin Lakes Road is channeling thousands of gallons of water a day into a nearby stream. The water is leaking from a broken water main.
This normally dry culvert off Twin Lakes Road is channeling thousands of gallons of water a day into a nearby stream. The water is leaking from a broken water main.

With nearby school affected, city to delay repairs

As Rock Hill residents watch their lawns and gardens wither from drought, city officials have decided to delay fixing a leaky water main until this weekend.

A main water line near the intersection of Twin Lakes Road and Congaree Avenue in north Rock Hill has been leaking for several days, but utility officials said fixing the pipe immediately would require shutting down the water supply to nearby India Hook Elementary School. So, authorities will wait until Saturday to fix the problem, meaning thousands of gallons of water will continue washing away.

"We don't like waiting, but we're trying not to interfere with school," said Jimmy Bagley, director of Rock Hill Utilities. "It's a main line, and we're aware that it needs to be fixed, especially with the drought, but it's a big project."

Bagley said the pipe and several valves will have to be repaired or replaced. Even if the 12-hour project was attempted as soon as school ended, Bagley said complications could put a kink in school the following morning.

He said the line could be leaking as much as 20,000 gallons of water a day -- about the same amount used daily by 10 average homes.

Bagley said crews will monitor the leak, and if it worsens, they'll begin repairs immediately.

Neighbors who have tried to follow water restrictions for the past month are voicing their concerns.

"I haven't even planted a garden or filled up my swimming pool trying to save water, and here's good water just pouring out like a creek," said Johnnie Waldrop, who lives nearby.

Waldrop and her neighbors first noticed the leak over the weekend and immediately called city officials, she said. Crews inspected the site Monday, Waldrop said, but the decision to put off repairs irks her.

"This is just ridiculous," she said. "We need that water in this drought. I just can't stand to see it waste away."

Bagley said he understands concerns. "We're going to fix it as soon as we can. Just bear with us, we're trying to conserve while still providing good customer service to the school."

View video of the broken water main at

WEB EXTRA

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