Here’s what happened per the village:
WATER CRISIS REPORT
Thursday, January 26, 2024, at approximately 8:30 p.m., the licensed water operator on duty noticed that the sand filter water level dropped one foot alerting employees that we had a leak in the system. They were then able to identify that they had a leak around the clarifier. Upon further investigation it was discovered, after digging six feet underneath concrete at the clarifier station and chemical room, a 12-inch ductile iron elbow that was encased in concrete had blown out through the back of the line. This is the 12-inch line that delivers raw water (pre-treated) from our two water sources, Caldwell Lake and Wolf Run. The Village quickly contacted Zemba Brothers, and they were onsite by 10:45 p.m., which began around the clock repair work. As of 7 a.m. today we are scheduled to have concrete delivered to be poured in and around a splitter box to secure the newly installed raw water line. The concrete will need to cure before the water maybe turned back on. Start-up of the plant will need to be SLOW. A plan has been devised with the local water companies and The Village of Caldwell to begin by flushing water hydrants. Early Friday Noble County Water Authority was able to connect to Byesville Water through their emergency interconnect that was secured, which has been a huge help.
The Emergency Management Director Erica Rossiter and Assistant Sara Wenzel began making phone calls on Friday, January 26, to businesses to ask that they close to conserve as much water as possible to maintain water in our tanks, as this would make the start-up of the plant much smoother. We have also been meeting at regular intervals with all involved decision makers for updates. As of yesterday, our East and West tank began registering at a negative level in the tanks. For the first time since 1998, during the flood Noble County, water has been depleted. If you are BLESSED to still have water, PLEASE do your best to CONSERVE the water that you do have as this is better for the system. If you have low pressure, you are on a BOIL ORDER.
The concrete has been poured as of 9:30 a.m.; it will need time to cure (a minimum of two hours); at that time The Village of Caldwell will slowly start running water back to the plant, which will take roughly (fingers crossed) five hours. Operators will then start by flushing hydrants that have been strategically chosen. Customers will begin regaining water to their homes. With the lines being down there is an increased amount of air in the lines, which could result in increased water leaks, which makes slow and steady increased water usage CRITICAL. All lines dropped below the necessary 20 pounds of pressure, which means all customers will be under a boil order until they are notified otherwise.
The Village of Caldwell supplies more than 80% of the water to ALL of Noble County. Pure, Clear, Noble, Noble County Water Authority all purchase their water from the Village of Caldwell, which makes the impact of this major break crippling to the functionality of the entire county.
We 100% understand the impact that this event has had on our county, including business owners and employees whose income has been impacted. Please know that repair work has NEVER stopped.