BARRE – City officials were readying to issue a localized boil water notice in the wake of a significant Sunday afternoon water main break that wasn’t expected to be repaired until late Sunday night at the earliest.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the high-pressure line to burst beneath a frost heave at the intersection of Elm and Park Street shortly before 4 p.m. Water from the break undermined a 350-foot section of Elm Street, cascaded down Park Street and through back yards in the neighborhood.
A public works crew responded to the scene and had isolated the break before 5 p.m. By 7 p.m. excavation was well underway and the crew was nearing the burst line officials said was between 10- and 14 inches in diameter. Once the line was uncovered estimated repairs could take at least three to four hours and possibly much longer. The line is expected to be repaired by Monday evening at the latest.
Officials were exploring the possibility the break may have led to a subsequent water line leak detected on Academy Street near the Vermont History Center.
Reductions in water pressure were reported across the system as a result of the water main break and an undetermined number residents in the West Hill area were expected to be without water until repairs were complete.
The boil water notice issued shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday evening affects the area of the water system north of Hill Street and east of Summer Street, and includes users in the city, as well as neighboring Barre Town
Until further notice residents in that area are advised not to boil water from the city system before drinking it. That notice will remain in affect until samples from the system taken on successive days are tested for bacteria and cleared by the state laboratory.