BERLIN – A number of Berlin homes were without water much of the day Saturday as town crews performed an emergency repair of infrastructure on Broad Street.
Town staff responded to the intersection of Broad and West streets early Saturday morning upon reports of water spurting onto the road. They spent the next 24 hours making repairs and are expected to continue work during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“Everything’s been restored but we will open it up again,” Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said. “There’s still one valve we want to replace before we redo the road.”
According to Fleetwood, the problem town staff identified Saturday was that a water main valve had failed. Though a nearby valve on West Street was replaced a few years ago, the infrastructure at the intersection of Broad and West Street dates back to the 1960s, Fleetwood said.
“It’s just old infrastructure,” he said.
Crews from the town, Goody Hill Groundworks, the Maryland State Highway Administration and Chesapeake Utilities were on hand as the broken valve was replaced. Town officials opted to replace two other valves in the same location as a preventative measure. It’s the final of those two valves that crews will replace in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Fleetwood said that while many homes and businesses were affected Saturday, including Rayne’s Reef and DiFebo’s, crews did what they could to minimize impact by leaving the water on as long as possible.
“They tried to work with the leak happening as long as they could,” Fleetwood said.
Residents are grateful the issue was repaired immediately but said there was little information provided by the town during the course of the lengthy outage.
“I’m definitely thankful for all those guys putting in the overtime to make sure we all have water,” resident Bill Todd said. “I just wish the town could’ve updated people more so they wouldn’t get as many hairy eyeballs while they’re working. I’m sure that would make their job easier.”
As far as the financial impact of Saturday’s repairs, Fleetwood said it was too early to say what the cost would be. He said he was confident that the cost could be covered with the water department’s contingency funds.