MANCHESTER, NH – Estimates on the cost of damage from a blown water main and road eruption Thursday night on the city’s West Side may run between $50-100,000.
According to Manchester Water Works Deputy Director – Distribution Guy Chabot, the final price tag will likely be close to around $75,000, for the pipe and road repair.
The 90-year-old water main that burst Nov. 6 and unleashed an estimated 1 million gallons of water on the Goffe Street neighborhood has been fixed as of Friday afternoon, but pressure tests were underway for most of Friday to ensure the system is fully functional.
“That pipe is a 1925 pipe, and sometimes temperature changes in the water can cause expansion on a pipe where there’s a weakness. Our system is 140 years old, and yet we have some 140-year-old pipe that’s never had a break,” Chabot said.
Annually, Manchester Water Works sees 30-40 such pipe breaks.
As for the estimated 1 million in water that gushed from the broken pipe, the cost of that is minimal, Chabot said – about $800 per million to produce.
“Our reservoir holds 20 million gallons of water and it’s 20 feet high, so a million gallons drops the the water level about a foot,” Chabot said.
City crews worked through the night to fix the pipe, which was operational by about 8 a.m. Friday, Chabot said.
“The repair is done and the main is back in service. We may have some reduced flow still in that three-block area, but we just turned it all back on within the past half hour,” Chabot said just after 2 p.m.
Nearby communities of Bedford and Goffstown also experienced some water pressure issues due to the main break, according to Chabot.
As for the road, chunks of asphalt that were lifted by the force of the gushing water and repairs have mostly been cleared and work will continue until the road is repaired.
Jay Davini, Chief of Street Operations for the city, said his crew is still working as of Friday afternoon.
“The goals is tonight to get the road passable and open to traffic. The sidewalks are still closed and will be barricaded, but the gravel road will be safe and passible until we can get back there on Monday,” Davini said.