The water is back on, the boil alert is lifted and the pressure is back to normal.
Akron is now trying to determine what caused a water main break Thursday in West Akron that caused a flood, damaging homes and cars, with some residents and motorists having to be rescued. The break also temporarily disrupted water service and resulted in a boil alert.
“The cause of the failure — we can’t say for sure,” said Public Service Director John Moore.
City officials think the break on West North Street may have been caused by a rusty steel band inside the 42-year-old concrete water main, but plan to have experts inspect it to be sure. The company that sold Akron the pipe is out of business, but the company that bought this business is still around and will send officials to the city to take a look at the pipe, Moore said.
When the cause is determined, Akron will have a better idea what to look for when the rest of the 3-mile-long pipe is inspected. City employees will handle part of this inspection, while an outside firm will do the rest, Moore said.
The water main served customers in Fairlawn and Copley Township. The city has rerouted lines to serve these customers while the broken main is inspected and repaired.
The same pipe malfunctioned last November, but that time it was just a problem with a joint that workers discovered after seeing water percolate through the ground.
At least a 20-foot section of pipe will be replaced, with more fixes possible after the entire main is inspected. The new pipe was delivered Monday.
“It may have cracked in another section,” Moore said. “We want to be real, real careful.”
Moore said the last thing the city wants is to put the new section in, turn the water back on and have another break 20 feet away.
The flooding damaged 33 homes and left some motorists, who tried to make it through the water after the flooding began, stranded.
Law Director Cheri Cunningham said the property and auto owners should submit claims to their insurance companies. If the insurance company doesn’t pay, she said a claim can be submitted to the city.
As for whether Akron will pursue its own claim, Cunningham said it’s too soon to tell.
“The city is still investigating the incident, so I cannot predict whether any claim may be made,” she said.