UPDATE: Boil Water Near Old High School LIFTED

Last modified on April 9th, 2022 at 07:47 am

Update as of Saturday, 4/9, 7:30 a.m.: This Boil Water Notice has been lifted. Lab testing found no contamination.

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Update as of Friday, 4/8: The Boil Water Notice remains in effect. The earliest that laboratory testing can be completed and the notice lifted is Saturday, April 9.

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Crews are responding to a water leak in the vicinity of 13th Street and South Henry, near the old Elkins High School and current RCPS bus garage.

While repairs are underway, water will be off to customers on sections of Cole Avenue, 13th Street, 15th Street, South Henry Avenue, and South Kerens Avenue. (The approximate area is shown in yellow on the below map. The affected water lines are shown in red.)

After repairs are complete and service has been restored, a Boil Water Notice will be in effect for these same customers. The earliest that laboratory testing can be completed and the notice lifted is Saturday, April 9.

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. Samples cannot be taken until the leak has been repaired and service has been restored. Samples can only be submitted during business hours. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow these channels:

UPDATE: Boil Water on Ferguson Road LIFTED

Last modified on March 6th, 2022 at 01:57 pm

Update as of March 6, 1;08 p.m.: This Boil Water Notice has been lifted. No contamination was detected.

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As a result of loss of pressure on a water main during repair of a leak, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers on Ferguson Road east of Harris Street. The earliest that laboratory testing can be completed and the notice lifted is Sunday, March 6.

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. Samples cannot be taken until the leak has been repaired and service has been restored. Samples can only be submitted during business hours. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

Updated: Boil Water on Ward Avenue Lifted

Last modified on December 18th, 2021 at 08:04 am

Update as of Dec. 18, 8 a.m.: The Ward Avenue Boil Water Notice has been lifted. Lab testing found no contamination.

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Update as of 12/17,  9 a.m.: Repairs are complete. A sample is being submitted for independent lab testing this morning. Earliest results will be available morning of 12/18.

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Water Service Interruption South of Sixteenth Street

As a result of loss of pressure on a water main during repair of a leak, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers on Ward Avenue in First Ward. The earliest update concerning this notice will be on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 18.

During repairs, water customers in South Elkins south of Sixteenth Street will experience low or no water pressure, but the Boil Water Notice only affects Ward Avenue.

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. Samples cannot be taken until the leak has been repaired and service has been restored. Samples can only be submitted during business hours. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

Why So Many Water Outages?

There is clearly an unacceptable number of ongoing water outages and sometimes resulting Boil Water Notices.

What is going on?

One major reason is that many underground water lines in Elkins are past their end-of-life and need to be replaced.

The reason problems have spiked lately in South Elkins, however, is related to the great amount of soil disturbance that occurred as part of the sewer/stormwater separation project earlier this year. (It appears that the soil under much of South Elkins is *extremely* soft and bordering on liquid in places.)

Making things even worse are the large number of broken valves throughout our system. Valves are used to turn off the flow of water to certain sections of the system.

In a perfect world, for last night’s repair on Whiteman Avenue, we could have closed a valve that would have caused an outage for only a small number of surrounding customers.

However, because many of the smaller valves are not functioning, it is necessary to instead turn off valves on larger mains, which results in outages over a much wider area. (This is one reason why our water workers often attempt to make repairs “under pressure,” meaning without turning off the water, to avoid these outages. This means they must work with spraying water, which is obviously less practical as the weather gets colder.)

So, what is the city doing about this?

Council has dedicated a portion of ARPA funds to an engineering study and plan for the systematic replacement and upgrading of the city’s water lines. Although we won’t know exact costs of such a project until this study is complete, it will likely cost tens of millions of dollars.

Addressing this problem is a current focus of council and the Water Board and plans are being formulated to address it, however it will be a long process. It may be that the valve issue is “low hanging fruit” and could be addressed sooner than later, reducing the number of widespread outages. We are actively working to determine this.

Some Facebook commenters have wondered what would happen if there were a fire in an area experiencing an outage. Keep in mind that these outages result not from the water-main break but from turning off the water at a valve. If there were a fire and hydrants were needed in an affected area, we would simply reenergize the valve and restore service. Although this would cause the broken pipe to start leaking again, this would obviously be acceptable in the face of a need to protect life and property from fire.

Other Facebook commenters wondered why we don’t predict when repairs will be completed when there are outages. The problem is that we just don’t know. For example, especially due to the extremely brittle cast-iron pipes prevalent in South Elkins, sometimes turning the water on after one leak triggers another, which can as much as double repair times. It is just not practical to try to accurately predict repair times.

Another issue: Even if we had the tens of millions of dollars necessary to make all needed improvements in hand right now, there are and will continue to be significant inventory problems, due to both the pandemic supply-chain issues and the fact that every city in the country has ARPA funds to spend on projects like this, including huge cities with much larger projects *and* much larger ARPA disbursements that are able to basically clear the shelves of the same pipes and valves we would need.

Everyone at the city (many of whom live in South Elkins are affected themselves) is frustrated about this situation and deeply regrets the frequent inconvenience. We hope everyone understands that this is a big problem that cannot be fixed overnight but is being worked on.

Follow the below links to learn more about:

Boil Water in Fifth Ward

Last modified on December 2nd, 2021 at 09:41 am

Update as of Dec. 2, 9 a.m.: The Boil Water Notice in Fifth Ward has been lifted after lab testing found no contamination.

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As a result of loss of pressure on a water main caused by a leak, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers in Fifth Ward in the area bounded by Eleventh Street, South Davis Avenue, and the Tygart River. (See map at the bottom of this post.) The earliest update concerning this notice will be on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 2.

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

South Elkins Boil Water Advisory

Last modified on November 27th, 2021 at 10:16 am

** Update: November 27, 10:15 AM**
The boil water notice in South Elkins has been lifted. Laboratory testing found no contamination.

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As a result of loss of pressure on a water main caused by a leak, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers in South Elkins in the area bounded by Bond Lane, Ward Avenue, the Tygart River, and Whiteman Avenue. (See map at the bottom of this post.)

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

10/31: Boil Water on Graham Street

Last modified on November 2nd, 2021 at 10:36 am

Update as of 11/2, 10:35 a.m.: This Boil Water Notice is now lifted.

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As a result of motor-vehicle damage to a fire hydrant, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers on Graham Street between South High Street and Randolph Avenue.

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

Boil Water Notice Near Taylor & Ward

Last modified on October 27th, 2021 at 08:54 am

Update as of 10/27, 8:45 a.m.: The boil-water notice has been lifted.

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As a result of a water-main break near Ward Avenue and Taylor Avenue, a boil-water notice has been issued. This boil-water notice affects water customers on:

  • Ward Avenue, between Lavalette and South Gate
  • Taylor Avenue, south of Sixteenth Street

Work to repair this break may affect water pressure throughout a wider area, but the boil-water notice is limited to the above customers. Water system employees are working to restore service as quickly as possible.

Boil-water notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. Detection of contamination requires analysis by an independent lab. For more information about what to do under a boil-water notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the boil water advisory is lifted. This cannot occur until at least 24 hours after repairs are completed. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

Update 2: River Street Boil Water Advisory Lifted

Last modified on October 17th, 2021 at 10:18 am

Update as of 10/17, 10:13 a.m.: The boil-water advisory for River Street customers has been lifted.
Update as of 10/16, 10:15 a.m.: River Street customers remain under a boil-water advisory. The next update will be Sunday.

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Original post (October 14th, 2021 | 3:27 pm):

As a result of a water-main break, water customers living on River Street are now under a boil-water advisory. The earliest this advisory can be lifted will be  Saturday, depending how quickly repairs proceed and a sample may be taken. We will post updates as more information is available.

Water system employees are working to restore service as quickly as possible. Estimated time of repair is before midnight tonight.

Boil-water advisories are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. Detection of contamination requires analysis by an independent lab. For more information about what to do under a boil-water advisory, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the boil water advisory is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

Update 2: Edgewater Boil Water Advisory Lifted

Update as of 10/15, 9:41 a.m.: The Edgewater boil water advisory has been lifted. Lab tests detected no contamination in our sample. Thank you for your patience.

Update as of 10/14, 8:35 a.m.: Repairs are complete and water service has been restored. However, Edgewater Drive customers remain under a boil water advisory. A water sample is being collected and taken to an independent lab in Clarksburg for testing, a process that requires at least 24 hours to determine whether or not any contamination has occurred. The boil water advisory will therefore remain in place until at least noon on Friday.

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Water Outage in Much of South Elkins

There has been a major water-main break in the 200 block of Edgewater Drive.

As a result of this break, water customers living on Edgewater Drive are now under a boil-water advisory that can be expected to last for approximately the next 48 hours.

Work to repair this break will result in a widespread area of low or no water pressure in South Elkins. Water system employees are working to restore service as quickly as possible.

Boil-water advisories are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. Detection of contamination requires analysis by an independent lab. For more information about what to do under a boil-water advisory, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the boil water advisory is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

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