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Break discovered in water main, East Nashvillians warned of incoming hours of low pressure

metro water deals with east nashville water main break
Posted at 6:58 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 12:19:06-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — East Nashvillians can expect lower water pressure in their area for six to eight hours, starting Tuesday around 4 p.m.

A leak was discovered in a 24-inch Omohundro pipe that runs under the Cumberland River, so Metro Water workers needed to shut the valve off while they work on the problem.

Water pressure will be predictably lower in East Nashville starting in the Shelby Park area and on up to Joelton, according to Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter. This includes the Bordeaux area, Riverside Drive, Whites Creek Pike and Trinity Lane.

"This is the bottom of the river and that's a plume of water. We've got a 24-inch water pipe that crosses the river between Oma and Shelby Park, and we think we have a failed joint in the river, and water is escaping that failed joint," he said.

Potter said that cooking and cleaning could continue as usual, though. Routine water usage was cleared for residents.

It is unclear what exactly led to this pipe's break, but it could have been a combination of a number of things, according to Potter. Things like extreme temperatures, extreme water demand, or even an exacerbated smaller leak could all be offending causes.

"Anytime you have an operating environment like the one we had last week, with extreme temperatures and extreme demands of flow, it's going to cause problems in a variety of forms," Potter said.

A contractor with a drone and a dive team plans to take photos and videos of the pipe next week. Once they understand the extent of the damage, Potter said, then repairs can be made.

It is possible that the team determines the pipe must be relaid altogether. That can happen even when a pipe is new — and this one was installed in 2012.

The temporary interruption should last a couple of hours.

"You don't want to use up a whole lot of water, if you live in these neighborhoods — just to help us recover, but this isn't a crisis. We're trying to be a little proactive in getting ahead of the problem before it gets worse," Potter said.

But officials said this is the beginning of a long cycle of repair. So far about a dozen water main breaks have been fixed, but in the coming days, the number is expected to be a lot higher.

"A good comparison: in February 2021, we had 132 breaks in February. And it wasn't as cold. So, that's what we're expecting," Potter said.

In the meantime, Potter said that if customers in the affected area are still experiencing reduced water pressure on Wednesday, they should call 615-862-4600 to report breaks.

He also said it's important to know the location of your water shut-off valve in your home, so you can close it yourself in case of emergency.

If you don't have one, Potter recommends having one installed for future peace of mind.


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