BARRE — A city crew has located and exposed the fractured section of 10-inch water main that began spewing water near the entrance to Dollar General on North Main Street Saturday morning.
Seven hours after the leak was detected at 9:30 a.m., workers were in the process of removing the ruptured pipe and preparing to replace it with a section that was being pulled from inventory.
Installing the new section of pipe is expected to take another six hours. Barring complications, the repairs should be complete sometime before midnight.
Northbound traffic has been funneled around the worksite through the parking lot of the nearby public safety building using Fourth and Fifth streets.
City workers arrived on scene at about 10 a.m. and spent the first 90 minutes isolating the leak. Using a series of valves, they bypassed the broken water main before turning their attention to trying to find the leak.
City Manager Steve Mackenzie said water service had the potential of being affected from Berlin Street to the Knoll Motel on the Barre-Montpelier Road. He said the city had received at least one report of discolored water early on and predicted water users — particularly those in the higher elevations in the Richardson Road area — could be affected.
Mackenzie said a boil water notice may not be necessary, but officials were advising customers in affected areas to consider using bottled water for cooking and drinking and filling their bathtubs with surplus water that can be used to flush their toilets.
As a general rule, Mackenzie said, water should not be used for drinking during periods of low pressure, and north end residents should also consider turning off the heating elements of their water heaters in case the unit drains due to the loss of water in the city mains.