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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Main break leaves Brazil dry

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

City worker Don Riggle, front with saw, prepares to cut out a 12-foot section of a split water line Sunday that left thousands without water until Monday morning. Don Vanatti, back, continues to try to shovel out around the pipe. Linda Messmer photo

- Boil order in effect until Thursday

Nearly 10,000 people were without water Sunday from about 9:30 a.m. until nearly 1 a.m. Monday morning. Brazil, Knightsville and Harmony residents were totally cut off from their water source when an 18-inch main line, east of town by Excel Graphics, cracked.

John Ray, Distribution Supervisor for the Brazil City Water Works, said the crack was 12 feet long in the only line that feeds the whole city.

City workers had to cut out and replace a 16-foot section to repair the breakage. Ray said it was probably due to aging and metal fatigue on the pipe.

Assistant Distribution Supervisor Dick Vanatti said that one factor slowing the repair was that a 2-inch telephone cable lays right next to the pipe. The crew had to dig very carefully around the cable.

It couldn't have happened at a worse time. In the middle of the three-day Labor Day weekend with temperatures reaching the mid 80s, it certainly dried out the enthusiasm at many planned festivities. There were holiday parties, weddings, and the last big family get togethers to close summer and open school.

Some restaurants didn't open at all. A few closed early. Wendy's was open but milk was the only beverage they served. There was a run on bottled water at the grocery stores. Both Page's and Krogers sold out of their one and 2 and a half gallon water jugs.

The Brazil City Dispatcher Phaedra Brown was busier than usual. She said during part of her shift Sunday, she was averaging three calls a minute regarding the water outage since the city offices were closed for the holiday.

While most residents were happy to wake up Monday morning to flowing faucets, Mayor Arthur said the effects of the line break are not yet over. Arthur issued a boil order for at least 72 hours, which will be some time Thursday.

"We have to wait until water samples come back with good readings from the Department of Health in Indianapolis before we can lift the boil order," Arthur said Monday.

Even though most of Carbon and Center Point had water while the line was being repaired, residents of those towns are also included in the boil order.

Ray said, "We appreciate the citizens patience and understanding in situations we can't control." Shaking his head in the hot afternoon sun he added. "My guys haven't had a holiday off in three years. Something always happens on the holidays."

The break occurred in the same general location as a break last December.

The city experienced another water shortage in March when a smaller line broke near Hardees and French Funeral Home.

Boil orders were also issued following those breaks.

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