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Water main break disrupts service to several homes

About two dozen households were without water late Monday afternoon, as Farmington maintenance crews repaired a water main break near Fourth and Maple streets.

A Farmington police officer on patrol spotted water coming up out of the street Sunday, municipal services director Todd Reiten said. The area was inspected later Sunday, but the leak was slow enough that it could wait until Monday to be fixed.

The water main in question serves Farmington Elementary School, as well as several surrounding blocks. City workers were able to dig down and find the break earlier in the day. Digging down, they found that the break was confined to one valve on one line. Unfortunately, it was the line that connected to FES, so crews waited until school was out at 3:30 p.m. to go in and fix the problem, because doing so required the water to be turned off.

Actually fixing the leak took about an hour and a half. Streets supervisor Steve Arndt said that at first, they thought as many as 65 homes would be without water while the leak was repaired, but when crews got down to the water main, they found a valve that was not on the city's map. That valve allowed them to minimize the number of homes impacted.

Getting to the leak proved to be easier than anticipated because the ground around the leak was no longer frozen. Reiten didn't know if that was due to the leaking water warming the ground, but he wasn't arguing the luck, either.

"It went really good for a change," Reiten said. "It wasn't freezing, nothing went wrong for us. Everything went really well."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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