Chesterton Tribune



Water company says failed 15th Street water main was old and brittle

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The cause of Tuesday afternoon’s water main break on South 15th Street appears to have been the simple failure of an old pipe.

After deadline on Wednesday, Indiana American Water Company (IAWC) spokesman Joe Loughmiller told the Chesterton Tribune that the pipe in question was “an older cast iron pipe from the 50s/60s.”

Such pipe, he said, “is a more brittle material than the ductile iron we use these days.”

“We are replacing a lot of old pipe in Northwest Indiana,” Loughmiller added. “In our last rate case, we included nearly $67 million worth of investment to replace/relocate water mains and hydrants in our Northwest Indiana service area.”

A boil advisory was in effect for approximately 24 hours following the water main break, for residents of the area bordered by West Porter Ave., South 15th Street, Portage Ave., and South 16th Street. The boil advisory was issued “in accordance with Indiana regulation,” IAWC said.

“Anytime water pressure drops below 20 pounds per square inch in a portion of a community’s distribution system, a boil advisory must be issued as a precaution to protect customers in that area.”

The failure of the water main is believed to have caused the secondary rupture of a two-inch plastic natural-gas main running parallel to it. Two houses in the neighborhood were evacuated by the Chesterton Fire Department until a NIPSCO crew arrived on scene to shut off the gas.



Posted 10/17/2019




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