Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Water break was private line


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Ironwood - The mystery of the Friday water line break was solved late afternoon Wednesday when Ironwood Public Works crews found the source was a private line leading to a former nursing home.

City crews and a leak detection specialist from the Michigan Rural Water Association determined late Tuesday afternoon that the break was in a 4-inch lateral line leading from the city main to the former Josephson's Nursing Home at 634 E Ayer St., said Scott Erickson, city manager. Because the nursing home is not occupied there was no one to inform the city of the loss of water service, he said.

"We have turned off the service lines to the facility and will contact the owner or manager to figure out next steps," Erickson said.

The line apparently froze and broke, he said. The city crews hope to get a look at the basement of the facility today to determine if any damage occurred.

A typical residential lateral line is 3/4-inch or 1-inch pipe. The 4-inch lateral line was required to supply a multi-resident retirement facility and was large enough that a break would disrupt the flow in the city water main, he said.

The city first thought the break was a water main under the road.

"We were doing leak detection and having a hard time figuring out where the leak was," Erickson said.

Crews started work to pinpoint the break on Ayer Street after a nearby resident reported hearing the sound of flowing water while in his basement, he said. Crews couldn't pinpoint the running water sound until figuring out that it was from a lateral service line, he said.

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