Water shutoffs likely this week in Port Townsend

Downtown pipe fixed, but street remains closed

PORT TOWNSEND — The pipe repairs for the broken water main in downtown Port Townsend were completed Monday, and officials hope to have the entire street repaired next week.

Water shutoffs for the Point Hudson area are expected on Wednesday, said Port Townsend Public Works Director Steve King.

Public Works will contact the affected places with specific times, he said.

Water shutoffs will be in an area encompassing the Point Hudson side of Monroe Street from Port Townsend Bay up to about Clay Street, as well as the American Legion Hall, according to a Public Works map.

The water main spilled about 180,000 gallons of water at about 8 p.m. Nov. 16, with water over-topping a sewer manhole near the Monroe Street Lift Station, resulting in overflow of diluted sewage to Port Townsend Bay.

The overflow was halted by 9 p.m. Monday, but not before some of the water ran into the bay, spurring a no-contact order due to fecal matter detected in water samples.

The no-contact order was lifted Monday afternoon by Jefferson County Public Health, said Michael Dawson, water quality manager.

Crews from public works and Seton Construction replaced the broken cast iron pipe, and the teams are now chlorinating the new pipe for 24 hours to sanitize it. They plan to connect it back to the main water line Wednesday, and that would complete the water portion of the repairs, King said.

The pipe had an 8-foot crack, probably because of its age, King has said.

The water from the pipe had lifted the asphalt and formed a pocket under the intersection. The public works crew, with assistance from Seton Construction, lifted out all the damaged asphalt, replaced the pipe and now has to rebuild the intersection, King said.

The estimated cost of repairs is $100,000, he added.

The street repairs are not expected to be completed until after the Thanksgiving weekend, and King said he hopes to have them completed next week, depending on the weather.

The project came together quickly through the partnership of several city departments, Seton Construction and other parties, King said.

“We just had a full team effort that made it possible,” he said.

The corner of Monroe and Water streets will remain closed until all repairs are completed.

Detours are set through Madison and Washington streets.

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Jefferson County Reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at [email protected].

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