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Charlotte Water officials still don’t know what caused 'historic' water main break

Charlotte Water says it’s unclear whether age was the cause of a break in a main waterline that left thousands of people with little to no water on Monday evening.

Video on social media shows a blast of water shooting up into the sky.

Charlotte Water Director Angela Charles, who called the scope of the break "historic," says the pipe that was installed 66 years ago broke near the 1400 block of Remount Road. It impacted several neighborhoods and the airport.

The city says these are the affected area is within these boundaries:

  • To the north by Brookshire Boulevard and Interstate 85
  • To the east by W.T. Harris Boulevard and Monroe Road
  • To the west by the Catawba River
  • To the south by the state line.

Residents were notified to boil their water several hours after the break. Charles says it took that much time to analyze the scope of the break’s impact.

While fixing the pipe, Charles said workers will also check other sections.

“It will be a difficult repair," Charles said. "It’s a 36-inch pipe 15 feet under the creek bed.”

The city advised those affected on Monday to boil their water for the next 48 hours as a precaution.

Results from water quality samples taken on Tuesday should be available on Wednesday, Charles said.

“We’re doing what you’d call survey testing just to ensure that we’ve got the proper water quality there,” she said. 

The city is urging water customers to conserve water.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, MO where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.