Busted water main prompts boil order

Century lifts boil order Monday after break

Last Thursday, the town of Century experienced a water leak when a water main running along Highway 29 broke right at the entrance to town hall, causing the library to close and canceling Santa's 5:30 p.m. scheduled visit.

Town workers shut the water line off and brought in a pump to empty the hole in order to repair the main. The break happened when Escambia River Electric Co-operative (EREC) was installing broadband internet cable and hit a telephone pole that had been cut off, which shifted into the water main and caused the damage, according to town employee Robert Tims.

Tims was acting as a watch when EREC was drilling and said water sprayed up higher that the power lines when the line was hit.

"I was the watcher, there to make sure they didn't hit the waterline," said Tims. "But water sprayed up high and that's when we realized they'd hit it."

Town personnel from Century's water department took water samples during the time of the leak and that same day, the town issued a precautionary water boil for persons using the Town of Century water on N. Century Boulevard between Highway 4 and Hecker Road, including Ranch Road and Maple Street. The issue was due to the potential presence of e.coli bacteria in the water due to back siphonage of contaminants. A lift of the water boil notice was posted on the town's website on Monday, Dec. 12, after the water tests received an all clear.

Tims said the water line was fixed by about 10 p.m. Thursday, so they filled in the dirt and kept it blocked off from traffic coming into the town hall parking lot until the cement could be poured this past Tuesday. The entrance should be open by Friday, several days curing time for the cement, he said.

Mayor Luis Gomez said in a Tuesday night town council meeting that when the leak happened and lights were needed to work at night, the town had to purchase lights from the local hardware store. This prompted him to approach the council about spending some American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase a portable light trailer, which they approved for an amount not to exceed $11,000.

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