New London Water Restored
UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: The state of emergency has been lifted in New London. Mayor Daryl Finizio released a statement saying, “At 7:06 p.m. today, on the advice of Public Utilities Director Joseph Lanzafame, I lifted the state of emergency which has been in effect since 8:13 this morning.”
Public Utilities Director Lanzafame also highlighted how dire the situation could have been if the city hadn’t responded as quickly as it did.
“This was nearly a catastrophic system failure,” said Lanzafame. “If it had taken us an hour or an hour and a half longer to locate the break, we would have reached a point of no return. Residents and businesses throughout New London would have been without clean water for the next month.”
Most residents can return to normal water use, but those who live on Colman Street and didn’t have water earlier today are advised not to drink or cook with the water until it is further tested.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: If a water main break, in the woods near New London High School, had been identified an hour later, it would've spelled disaster for the city of New London.
Mayor Daryl Finizio says the the city was alerted to water pressure dropping in the area of Bates Woods Park late Wednesday night. For a period of 8 to 10 hours, 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of water was leaking per minute.
Joseph Lanzafame, Director of Public Utilities for the city of New London, said the cities storage tanks were losing about a foot of water per hour. He said New London and Waterford were perilously close to being without for days. He said, long term, the two municipalities wouldn't have been able to completely correct the problems for months.
The 150 residents of the George Washington Carver apartment complex, at 202 Colman St., have been without water since early this morning. But, during a 12:30 press briefing, Mayor Finizio said the leak was 90% contained. He said, unless crews encountered any unexpected challenges, full water restoration is expected by early this evening.
UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: New London Mayor Daryl Finizio confirmed, in an 11 a.m. press briefing, that the city narrowly avoided disaster.
A water main leak, in Bates Woods Park, near New London High School, was detected at approximately 6:30 a.m. Thursday. The mayor says, had the break gone another hour, without having been identified, all of the new London and Waterford could have been without water.
The mayor noted that the water main break was 75% contained as of 11 a.m. However, he was on sure how long residents would remain without access to water.
It's unknown how many residents have had their water turned off, the mayor said. After the media briefing, he was going to visit the George Washington Carver apartment complex at 202 Colman St., which houses over 150 people, These residents will be without water for an undetermined period of time.
While a cause has not been determined, Finizio says Wednesday's heavy rains in southeastern Connecticut may have been a factor, possibly causing soil erosion, which could have triggered the leak.
Water pressure rapidly decreased, as a result of the break. So, the mayor declared a water emergency. As of 11 a.m., The pressure had stabilized and was increasing.
Lawrence and Memorial Hospital is continuing to run as normal, according to a statement from the hospital. No procedures have been cancelled and patient care areas have not been impacted. The hospital also says it has contingency plans in place and are ready to be implemented if necessary.
The City of New London reported a massive water leak that could impact thousands of residents and has declared a state of emergency.
Portions of the city could be without water for days according to officials. The restrictions also apply to Waterford.
In an interview on the Fox CT Morning News, Mayor Daryl Finizio said water was leaking at a rate of 10 million gallons a day or 8,000 gallons a minute. The city's normal usage is 7 million gallons a day according to the Mayor.
The mayor said they believed the leak was 50% contained. The mayor said the problem could be the result of the storms on Thursday. The early containment was important to the eventual restoration of water service.
Finizio said the city determined there was a problem at 6:34 a.m. They declared the state of emergency at 8:13 a.m. and the leak was located at 8:38 a.m.
Mayor Finizio has spoken with Governor Dan Malloy, and said the governor has pledged state support.
The mayor said if residents see water coming out of storm drains or manhole covers to notify the city at 860-447-5222.
A spokesperson for Millstone nuclear power plant said there was no impact to their operations and they are limiting water usage and monitoring the situation.
Fort Trumbull has been closed due to the emergency.
The City has set up on Emergency Operations Center at the water treatment facility in Waterford, where the Mayor is now.
The city's website said:
Due to a broken water main and rapidly dropping water pressure, the Mayor has declared a State of Emergency in the City of New London. We have located the leak; however, it is possible that sections of the City will lose water for up to several days. Our Public Utilities Director has issued a mandatory water restriction for New London and Waterford. This applies to all nonessential water use. At this time there is not a boil water order.