A water line that services Ashbrook Village in Canal Winchester is in need of emergency replacement.
Public Works Director Matt Peoples told city council's service committee last week he would seek council approval in October to use money from Canal Winchester's rainy day fund to pay for the work.
According to Peoples, the Washington Street water line is the only line connecting the Ashbrook Village section of Canal Winchester to the rest of the city.
A 1-million-gallon capacity water tower provides a short-term reservoir for the neighborhood as well, but may not suffice long enough to replace the Washington Street line if the line failed completely, he said.
"We found a water leak in July, which was odd because those normally happen in cold months, so we uncovered it and used repair sleeves, but those didn't work," he said. "So we had Seals Construction dig some holes to see what the problem was and found we have 400 feet that needs replaced.
"It looks like spoils from an earlier construction ruined the pipe, which was only put in in 1995," he said. "We have pipe from the 1950s that's in better shape, so this was really unexpected."
Peoples said the placement of the pipe won't cause any road closures and will have minimum impact on about 11 properties.
"There's only one section that goes under Walnut Creek, so if we lost this line, we'd have a million gallons left in the tower and that would be it," Peoples said. "We'd like to be able to put this all off until we can get better pricing, but we can't take that risk of waiting to repair the line. We haven't had to use those contingency funds very often, but we'll have to do it this time -- I'll have more info about cost at the October meeting."
This repair has highlighted the city's need for a contingency plan in case the line fails again in the future, he said.
"We've been looking at options for running a second line to Ashbrook Village and they're all very expensive; they'd be quite a few hundreds of thousands of dollars," Peoples said. "We've talked with the village of Lithopolis about doing an emergency connection so that they would be able to feed us water or we could feed them in an emergency; this would give us a contingency plan for Ashbrook. That would be more economical."
Canal Winchester currently has a similar agreement and connections with Pickerington.
"Lithopolis has oversized capacity and significantly more water pressure than we do because of the hill their water tower is on, so we're discussing with them how that could be done, but I'll need council's support to fund the emergency connection and set up the agreement with Lithopolis," Peoples said.
The current Washington Street water line repairs are expected to be completed before this winter.
The next services committee meeting is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Oct. 15 at Town Hall, 10 N. High St.