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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Officials battle obstacles with leak

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brazil City Water Superintendent Jake Raubuch
The Brazil Water Department fought through multiple obstacles in repairing a water leak that sprung Friday.

"It was a really unusual chain of events that took place," Water Superintendent Jake Raubuch said Saturday afternoon after he and the department worked more than 30 hours.

The leak was initially discovered and a 12-inch line along Murphy Avenue, approximately one-half mile south of United States 40, at about 8:30 a.m., Friday. After closing off the road from U.S. 40 to Pinckley Street, crews began attempting to dig down to surrounding valves to shut off the flow."

"We thought we would be able to avoid having to shut off the tower and a boil order," Raubuch told The Brazil Times.

However, the water department struggled to get through the thick concrete, and once they did, another obstacle was discovered.

"The line had been worked on in the past, but it had been filled in with sand under the road," Raubuch said. "With a consistent light rain during the day, every time we would take a bucket of sand out, it seemed like two more would slide down around the line."

Once crews were able to remove enough sand from the area, they found one of the repair clamps from previous work had come loose, and the leak had created an additional hole in the line.

"At the same time, we were not able to get enough valves shut off to stop the leak," Raubuch said. "It was then we knew we had to shut down the tower, which cut off water services to the city at about 7:30 p.m. (Friday)."

Raubuch added the department worked through two storms Friday night into Saturday morning, one of which was an electrical storm.

"A lot of lighting came with one of the storms," he said. "With us working near big metal, machinery, we had to keep tabs on what the storm was doing at all times to ensure everyone's safety."

As the storms broke and morning began to arrive, the department maintained its work on replacing a 3-4-foot section of the line as fast as the circumstances would allow.

"It was just a real bad situation overall with the thick concrete we had to drill through, the soil composition of sand which kept falling in as soon as we would take some out, and the storms during the night," Raubuch said. "But our crews worked extremely hard, including throughout the night, to get this fixed as soon as possible."

At about 3:20 p.m., Saturday, Raubuch told The Brazil Times the leak had been fixed and he was on his way back to the Water Treatment Plant to turn the well field and 750,000-gallon water tower back online. Several hours later, all Brazil water customers had service restored to their homes.

"When the tower has to be emptied, it takes a while for it to fill back up so it can distribute water to the customers and build up adequate water pressure," he said. "I apologize for the inconveniences the water shutoff causes resident and businesses, but I appreciate their patience as we worked on repairing the line."

With the tower having to be shut all the way down, and the pressure falling below 20 psi, state protocols require a boil order to be in place, and three Bac T samples must be sent to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on at least two consecutive business days following a leak to ensure no contamination has occurred.

"We will be taking the samples on Monday and Tuesday, and pending those results, we should hear something Wednesday afternoon about potentially lifting the boil order," Raubuch told The Brazil Times.

The boil order affects water customers in Brazil, Carbon, Center Point, Harmony and Knightsville.

Boiling Water

The following instructions are suggested during a boil order to ensure water is safe for consumption or cooking:

* Strain the water through either a cheesecloth, coffee filter, or other clean, porous material to remove as many solid particles and dirt as possible,

* Bring the water to a rolling boil for one minute,

* Let the water cool. Pour into a container that has been boiled or sanitized with chlorine bleach, and

* To preserve the quality of the water, refrigerate the water until use.

In case of future water emergencies, local officials stated they do have an emergency alert system. To be added to the notification list, call 448-1539 during regular business hours.

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Thank you to all the hard working people to bring the water back on as fast as you did.

-- Posted by bugLover17 on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 8:10 PM

I still wonder if the people that were working in that area on tues april 12 had anything to do with this break. They were in the same area as the break itself. I think its pretty darn coincidental.

-- Posted by dxrs0 on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 8:24 PM

All the hard work is appreciated! It's really a pain when the water is off for that long, but understandably it has to be done. One question though......why are some of the restaurants in town still serving water from their fountains, along with fountain drinks??

-- Posted by EYN1962 on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 9:11 PM

i question the reason why all the water in the tank had to be wasted or replaced after the repair no valves or something that will control and save the tower/tank water my my hummmmm?

-- Posted by b.tener on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 10:57 PM

A water truck, are you serious? 24 hours is an inconvience not a disaster. By the way; where was this water truck supposed to come from? This town has had water issues for years. Bottle some water and save it for emergencies. Just what do you think these old pipes are going to do when they turn on the new water tower?

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 4:30 AM

"I wonder why our mayor did'nt have water truck sittin somewhere so citizens could get potable water???!!! 24 hrs of no water is tough and water is not cheap,just a simple water truck some where we could fill containers.Thanks for nothing mayor.I will remember election day."

Right, water is not cheap, and water rates have been much lower than average to keep politicians in office for MANY years now. About time people realized this and encouraged politicians to set rates reasonably so as to keep water pipes in working order.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 7:25 AM

When most of you voted "For Change" see what you got... Horrible economy- higher gas prices and food prices- no jobs etc... When you two are Mayor let's see what you can do!

LoL, sound like the last guy we had in office also!

-- Posted by WickedSpring64 on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 8:48 AM

Thanks to the water dept. for your hard work.

-- Posted by Weems on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 11:25 AM

Hey Thanks Water Department for taking the time to do a good job. The water situation got me out of laundry and dishes for the weekend...Your the Best!

-- Posted by Keeping An Open Mind on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 2:42 PM

From whom do you think the water haulers get most of their water?

THANKS Brazil Water workers!

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 4:22 PM

WickedSpring64, Thank you for this comment " For Change" see what you got... Horrible economy- higher gas prices and food prices- no jobs etc... When you two are Mayor let's see what you can do!" it made me laugh.

About hauling water, some say where are you going to get it? Hello Brazil is between Greencastle and Terre Haute 23 miles either way . not counting the smaller towns between.

Pipes have been old for serveral years but No elected officials Present or in the past fixed them. the past is the past and we should learn from it. Maybe we should get people in office not for just a paycheck but to Do their job. The water company is no different than Any other job, You get paid to Do your job. but if you need praised. Clap , clap, clap.

Bottom line, elected officials Quit making excuses the pipes and the craters( some say pot holes) are bad and do something.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 5:29 PM

Nope dont work for the city and dont know the mayor very well. However, I used to work for the city and 99% of the water haulers you are refering to fill those water tankers from the fire hydrant behind city hall on Jackson Street. Um lets see, no water in Brazil would probably mean no water to fill water trucks. My niece lives in Seelyville and when she wanted her pool filled she called a water hauler and guess where they got the water from? Yep the city of Brazil. I suppose they could pay someone from another city to haul water in here, but then people would be griping that the mayor used road money to pay for it.

Dont get me wrong, no water sucks, but 24 hours isnt a disaster.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 10:40 PM

In addition to water source from those haulers, I'm not sure that their trucks are certified for potable water for every hauler....Water that is clean enough for a swimming pool might not work for drinking water. Might have to boil it anyhow.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Apr 19, 2011, at 8:38 AM

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