The Erie County Water Authority has lifted the temporary water restrictions for the Southtowns they put in place while repairing a major water main break at their Sturgeon Point treatment plant, calling it the most difficult repair in the ECWA's 68-year history.
Because of a series of unique complications, the ECWA brought in outside experts to accomplish what was called "a sturdy but temporary repair through a remarkable process."
A specialist from Hydra Tech Inc. of Cincinnati, OH and two ECWA staff entered the 42" pipe from inside the treatment plant, crawling about 40' into the site of the break. The Authority said providing adequate oxygen and light was a primary challenge.
Deep in the pipe and almost 20' down, the men repaired the leak - a hole about the size of a baseball - from the inside, laying on their backs in 6" of water, with groundwater flowing back into the pipe onto them through the hole.
While this is a temporary fix, the ECWA said it will hold much longer than it will take to permanently repair the leak from outside the pipe. Further updates can be found at www.ecwa.org or by calling ECWA Customer Service at 849-8444.