Johnstown water leak fixed

JOHNSTOWN — Workers fixed the water main leak in the City of Johnstown late Monday night, according to Johnstown Water Board President Mike Capparello. 

The water-conservation order has been lifted, however, residents in the immediate vicinity of the leak, which occurred near the intersection of East Main and East State streets, are being asked to boil water out of precaution until Thursday, Capparello said. He said the boil order is for the homes and businesses between the leak site and Chase Street. 

The leak, which was first discovered about 8 p.m. Sunday, was fixed by Water Department and Department of Public Works crews by about 11 p.m. Monday, Capparello said. City crews spent a large part of the day on Monday trying to locate the source of the leak until the site of the break was discovered at about 3 p.m. when workers noticed the caved-in road near the intersection, Capparello said.  

Capparello said the leak spilled about 1 million gallons of water. He did not know the total cost. He said it was the biggest leak he has seen in his 10 years in Johnstown. 

The cause of the leak was still unknown, Capparello said, but he pointed to the age of the city’s water system, which is more than 100 years old in some places, he said. 

“The whole system across the whole city is old, and luckily we have a system up that if pressure goes down, or the reservoir starts to go lower than normal, our Senior Water Plant Operator John Denmark becomes aware of it. He contacts me, and we put a plan in place.” 

That plan involves traveling around the city to find pooling or spraying water, or other signs of a water main break. The city also enlists the help of residents.

More than $7 million worth of upgrades to the city’s water system has been included as part of a pending $12 million bond request made last summer. 

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