Major Greenwood water main breaks again

Oct 10, 2017 by

GREEN STREET has been closed since early this morning after a Water Main break at Green and Main Streets. The same main broke two years ago on Columbus Day weekend. DPW crews and contractors are expected to be on the scene through today and possibly into tomorrow.  (Mark Sardella Photo)

Published in the October 10, 2017 edition.

WAKEFIELD — A break in the major water main running down Green Street to the Main Street intersection had public works officials wondering today how it could let go again after tests showed the piping to be in good condition.

Just about two years after another section sprang leaks in 2015 — bringing water cascading down Green Street from the Dillaway Street intersection, damaging properties and the roadway — the 16-inch main was compromised again this morning around 1. The affected section of main is a little closer to Main Street than the section that broke the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend two years ago, but damage to private homes was reported.

DPW Director Richard Stinson was monitoring work at the site earlier today. DPW crews first had to clear Green and Main streets of debris, which included damaged road surfacing. Then the street had to be dug up so Spencer Contracting could begin installing about 240 feet of new pipe. At some point tomorrow, the area will be resurfaced.

Main Street was closed for a good part of the overnight as the initial cleanup occurred. As the morning commute began, Main Street was opened for two way traffic. Green Street will remained closed today.

Stinson said four or five homes will be without water service while the main is repaired.

“The last time this happened,” Stinson said, “we sent out a section of the pipe we took from the ground to a lab to be analyzed and it came back fine. So it’s not the pipe, as far as we tell. It may be a surge in pressure or something that’s causing this. We just don’t know at this point.”

According to Fire Chief Mike Sullivan, his men shut down several gas services in the area this morning and helped homeowners pump water out of their house.

In 2015, the break occurred around 1:40 p.m. on the Saturday before Columbus Day. When the section let go underneath Green Street at Dillaway Street, Green Street buckled and opened up. Homeowners, particularly those on the Crystal Lake side of Main Street, had water in their yards. Some had water in their basements. Retaining walls in the area were also compromised.

A catch basin at the corner of Dillaway and Green streets had to be rebuilt. A retaining wall on Main Street washed out and trees behind it got into power lines and had to be cut down. Mud and debris, at some points about six inches deep, washed down Main Street as far south as Forest Street. A sinkhole opened up on Green Street and had to be repaired.

The following morning, Main Street was open to fire apparatus only. Motorists were unable to use Main Street between Charles and Oak streets until Sunday night, October 11, 2015.

The town ended up paying for damage caused by the break two years ago.

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