Florence water system suffers ‘several water main leaks/breaks’

January 5, 2018 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. -- The city of Florence, from the Francis Marion University near the county line out to West Florence, is experiencing little or no water pressure.

Florence City Manager Drew Griffin said the reason is likely a break in a 30-inch main line because of freezing temperatures.

“We have not discovered where the break is just yet, but we believe there’s a break in that large line that feeds water out of surface water plant into the system,” he said. “We believe its bleeding water that’s supplied by our well-systems. We have about 100 people walking water lines on the system to pinpoint the break.”

Griffin said once the break is located, crews can valve off the system to isolate the break. Once that happens, water pressure can begin to be restored.

Griffin added there will be a boil water advisory notice, which is required by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, coming at some point Friday.

These problems required Florence County fire departments to shuttle water to McLeod Regional Medical Center.

Windy Hill Fire Chief John DeLung said that plans are for the county’s departments to contribute to a tanker brigade between the city’s main water treatment plant on Stockade Drive and the hospital to feed the facility’s heating system.

“If you are experiencing low water pressure, be advised that it is a citywide problem that the water utility department has been working to isolate since about 4 a.m. this morning,” said Ray Reich, Florence Downtown Development manager. “Typically water pressure issues are isolated to one area as a result of a broken water main, it is very unusual to have it occur system-wide. The city’s crews are working diligently to resolve the issue.”

“We are aware of several water main leaks/breaks this morning. Utilities crews are out and work expeditiously to locate the source and make necessary repairs,” according to a post made to the city’s Facebook page.

“We have increased production from our Surface Water Plant to help minimize the impact of water loss at our elevated tanks,” according to the posting.

The post indicates the city has received “many reports of low pressure and complete outages” as a result of the system issues.

“If you are experiencing any issues such as these at your residence, please contact Public Works & Utilities at 843-665-3236,” according to the post.