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Water Main Was 'Easy Fix' After Surmounting Challenges to Get at Break

City crews repair broken water main where it crosses Beluga Slough.
Homer Public Works
City crews repair broken water main where it crosses Beluga Slough.

A broken gas main and flowing water hampered repairs.

The 10-inch city water main that broke near Beluga Slough late on Saturday was successfully repaired by public works crews around 4 o’clock Monday afternoon, but it didn’t come without some challenges.

During the work to uncover the break, Public Works Director Jan Keiser said an unmarked gas main was hit by a city excavator, which resulted in a leak that had to be shut off by Enstar. The natural gas utility will make full repairs Tuesday morning, and Keiser is optimistic that the work can be done without closing the street.

The water main broke on the south end of the Beluga Slough crossing, on a part of the line that connects the loop that serves Ocean Drive, Kachemak Drive and the Spit. Keiser said only one customer had a disruption in water service, but the city was able to make other arrangements for them. Keiser said the Homer system is designed with that kind of redundancy.

The warm snap and rain may have contributed to heavy water movement in the gravel under the road, and while Keiser said public works was prepared to close the street if the roadbed was undermined, they never had to.

Once the water line was exposed, they discovered a crack all the way around it, which Keiser said was a relatively easy fix with a new 10-inch clamp. She said it was difficult to say what caused the break, saying it could be any number of things.

Keiser said that since the work was in the state right-of-way, the city used a local traffic-control company to provide flaggers and submit a plan to the state.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.