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Waterline break closes elementary in Rural Valley

RURAL VALLEY — Most of the residents and businesses in Rural Valley were without water all day Monday after a waterline break emptied the town’s reservoir.

Officials of Rural Valley Water Works say it may be Wednesday before they find and repair the underground break.

The loss of water affects 373 of the borough’s 413 customers including a laundromat, several beauty shops, an elementary school, three nursing homes, restaurants, grocery stores and bars. The elementary school is closed today due to the break.

Three water buffaloes have been stationed at the fire hall for residents’ use.

Forty customers on the western side of the borough located along Main Street were able to have water through a temporary emergency tie-in to the Cowanshannock Water Authority’s system. The Cowanshannock Water Authority is presently constructing emergency lines that connect to the borough’s system but the work is not complete throughout the entire borough.

The break occurred between 7 a.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday. Rural Valley Water Works water commissioner Kevin Nelson found the reservoir drained when he made his daily 7 a.m. inspection Monday.

“I opened the door and was shocked,” said Nelson. “I never saw it that low. It kept emptying.

“I could see the bottom of the tank.”

Nelson said all the valves supplying the town have been closed while the 120,000 gallon cement-lined reservoir supplied by the borough’s three wells is refilled. Once the tank is filled, sometime today, the line can be checked for breaks and repairs started, Nelson said.

Nelson believes the break occurred beneath one of the gravel ditches used for sewer lines or the newly constructed water lines and seeped under ground level. That would explain why no lost water has been found, Nelson said.

The borough will soon have a new, larger, above-ground 235,000 gallon reservoir to replace the existing tank which was built in 1932. Construction on a new reservoir is scheduled to begin in about 2-3 weeks.


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