Water main break marks second on same road in two months

Same road, same kind of pipe bursts for second time on Summerlin Avenue

ORLANDO, Fla. – As crews continued repairs Tuesday after a water main flooded the Lake Eola Heights neighborhood Monday, Orlando Utility Commission officials said they planned to take a look at the aging pipes.

The decision to look at the pipes beneath comes after the second water main break to take place on the same road in just two months. 

In August, OUC officials said the same type of cast-iron 80-year-old pipe burst on Summerlin Avenue and South Street, leaving about 20 residents in Thornton Park without water. 

The fact it happened again Monday is why OUC officials are concerned. 

"We did have two incidents, not too far apart. Same road. Same type of pipe, so certainly we are going to look at that," Tim Trudell, a spokesman for OUC, said.

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Trudell said that means crews will look at everything, including the age of the pipe, to see whether it needs to be replaced. 

However, Trudell said that's a bigger task than it seems. 

"Replacing an entire pipe is enormously expensive. It's a huge undertaking. It's much bigger than this," Trudell said as he pointed to the giant hole that forced the Summerlin Avenue closure. "We would be talking clearing long sections of streets and it's very expensive, but we will be looking at everything."

And while resident Jay Jackson sat on his porch Tuesday and looked at the mess outside his home on the corner of the street, he said he feels replacing the pipe wouldn't be worth it. 

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"You have to decide whether you are going to live with I-4 Ultimate in your neighborhood to try to fix everything for a year or more, or you go with the inconvenience for a few days or a week while this stuff breaks," Jackson said. "Either way it's not good, but I think this way is more tolerable."

Crews replaced the pipe Monday night and restored water to the approximately one dozen residents affected. A boil water notice was still in effect for about 13 homes Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said as of Tuesday afternoon, there was still no timeline for when Summerlin Avenue would reopen.

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