Chicopee facing hefty bill for water leak
A leak in an eight inch underground water pipe in Chicopee, Massachusetts could cost the city over $100,000 for the total repair costs. The leak is thought to have started at around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, 14th August but wasn’t discovered for over an hour. During this time, over 200,000 gallons of water had leaked from the pipe, damaging the gravel on the street above. Eventually parts of the street began to collapse, due to the sheer size of the leak.
According to Jeanette Forge at the Republican newspaper, the water was turned off by fire crews at roughly 2:30 a.m. and had to stay off until after 9:30 a.m. before it could be turned on again. Only eight or nine homes were without water for this period and the road was re-opened by midday, but repairs to the road itself are still ongoing. The 300 foot stretch of road that needs to be repaired will make up the majority of the total bill.
This leak was just one of a number of leaks that have happened in Chicopee in the last few years. The pipe in question was a cast-iron pipe, which essentially shattered, so a nine foot section had to be completely replaced. The pipe was dated from the 1950s, which is the most likely reason for the leak.
According to Chicopee Water Department Superintendent, Alan Starzyk, the downtown area of the city, where the leak took place, is in the middle of an ongoing project to improve the utility network in the area. He said: “The downtown area is an older section of the city and we have made strides in replacing older pipes.”
A recent project to replace 1,400 feet of pipes in the area has just been completed at a cost of $1.6million, so any further works will require significant funding. However, further leaks will end up costing the city even more to repair.
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