Gervais St. water main breaks under pressure

Crews working on Gervais Street water main break. / Mike Coleman

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Crews worked from dawn to dusk trying to repair a busy portion of Gervais Street in the Vista after an 8-inch water main broke Thursday.

Businesses in the area had no running water in the morning. Nonnah TMs and at least one other restaurant had to close during lunch.

It was just more of an inconvenience than anything else, says Nonnah TMs manager Brandon McAbee.

The 900 block of Gervais Street underwent a water system renovation earlier this year.

The project, that was set to overhaul the city's aging water supply system, started in January and is still ongoing in different phases along Gervais Street.

According to Director Joey Jaco of the City of Columbia Utilities and Water Department, Thursday's water main break on Gervais Street was not part of the city's rehabilitation project.

There isn't a known a cause for why the line cracked, but Jaco believes the weather could be to blame.

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People use more water in the summer and it causes us to have to produce more water which can raise the pressure within the system, Jaco says.

Columbia receives its water from two plants that pump an average of 60 million gallons water a day.

Due to the high temperatures there has been a significant increase in demand to about 100 million gallons a day. The increased flow can cause pipes to burst.

Situations like this are always possible, Jaco adds.

One break is enough for the staff at Nonnah's.

If we're not here, we're not making money, McAbee says.

The only break they want is one from the sun and the water main can probably relate.

A boil water advisory is still in affect for the even-numbered addresses on the 900 block of Gervais Street.

What do you think about the city's water system and continued water main breaks? Leave your comments below to weigh in.