Rend Lake Water District: Everything running smoothly after main - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rend Lake Water District: Everything running smoothly after main line break in May

Engineers at the Rend Lake Water Treatment plant say southern Illinois residents shouldn't worry about losing water anytime soon after making repairs to the main break. (Source: Taylor Clark, KFVS) Engineers at the Rend Lake Water Treatment plant say southern Illinois residents shouldn't worry about losing water anytime soon after making repairs to the main break. (Source: Taylor Clark, KFVS)
REND LAKE, IL (KFVS) -

Everything is "running smoothly" after a main line break left hundreds of thousands of southern Illinois residents without water in May.

According to Larry Sanders, general counsel with the Rend Lake Water District, he talked to the water superintendent on Tuesday morning, July 17 who said there is not a patch.

Since the break south of the plant, he said they put in a new discharge line, which is a connection to the main line. It's set to be finished this week, along with pressure testing.

Sanders said the large black pipe will be removed as soon as they are finished testing the new discharge line.

Back in May, Sanders said the plant was almost back to normal operations

"If we're not 100 percent done we're 99 percent done because we're at the cleanup," he said, "so we're checking, we're baking, we're drying things up so that we can be back to normal as soon as possible."

The main break on the inside of the plant that caused the shortage was repaired, according to District Engineer Sarah Towle, but just in case something goes wrong, they installed a bypass system that could deliverer clean water to residents. 

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Towle said the bypass system redirects water from the 36-inch main line through two smaller 18-inch lines that are running above ground. She said this system is a temporary solution to maintaining water flow should they have to turn off the main line. However, she said the bypass can only pump water out from the plant at a little over half capacity.

Something that slowed repairs, Towle said, was not having extra parts on site. Now she said they have plenty of spares for anything that may happen in the future.

Additionally, Towle said the water treatment plant is in the process of constructing a second 36-inch line that would serve as a fail safe to pump water out to residents at full capacity in the event of another main line break.

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