Water main break on Forest Drive could be a sign of what's to come

Water woes continue in the capitol city as crews work to repair an 18-inch water main break near Manning and Forest Drive.

Water from that break was reported at Providence Hospital and Benedict's football practice field.

City officials now say the clean-up may take a while.

But - Could this problem have been prevented?

Monday afternoon|.work continued on the 2500 block of Forest Drive.

Crews tore out hundreds of feet of roadway to repair an 18-inch water main break.

We've got quite a bit of the roadway...destroyed as a result of the water lifting up the asphalt," says Columbia Public Works Director John Dooley.

Dooley says the work should be done by Friday.

That's when the city can re-open four lanes of traffic that have been shut down on the major thoroughfare.

Some critics think it could have been the entire situation could have been avoided, but with 2,200 miles of pipeline running under the city, Dooley says no way.

"You can't tear up every street in a year and fix it all," says Dooley.

"This type of stuff has been predicted, has been predicted, since back in 2007," says Columbia political watchdog Dave Wilson.

Wilson says this situation, and many others like it, could have been prevented, if the city had followed recommendations in a 2007 report.The report, obtained by WACH FOX News, was done by consulting firm Black and Veatch.

It told city council that breaks like the one on Forest Drive, will happen more and more frequently.The report also suggested that the city stop dipping into its 100 million dollar water fund.

Black and Vetch found the city took more than 7 million of those dollars for other projects.

"What this report says is, you need to stop taking so much money from the water fund, and start applying it to one thing, maintaining your water system in your city," says Wilson.

Something Wilson says the city is still neglecting to do.

Wilson says, it TMs not a matter of if it will happen again, it TMs a matter of when and where.

"Broad river road is just a time bomb waiting to happen...and we know what traffic looks like on broad river road at five o'clock," says Wilson.

And Wilson says until the city makes serious changes a water main break construction scene, could be coming to a neighborhood near you.

On Monday, Columbia officials urge those who live near the water main break to boil their water.

The city says if you live between McDuffie Avenue and Harrison Road and Glenwood Road to Trenhom Road, you should boil your water for up to a minute before drinking or cooking with it.

The advisory is in affect until further notice.