Boil-water alert canceled in Orlando

Water main ruptured during I-4 construction project

ORLANDO, Fla. – A boil-water alert has been lifted in downtown Orlando, two days after crews repaired a 30-inch water main break near I-4.

Officials said Tuesday afternoon that a boil-water alert was issued for residents and businesses near Garland Avenue at Colonial Drive. 

The alert was canceled Thursday.

"Water samples analyzed by OUC’s state-certified water quality laboratory over two consecutive days indicate that water being provided to the area is safe to drink, and the precautionary advisory has been allowed to expire," the company said in a statement.

The alert extended from Marks Street to West Concord and Orange Avenue to Lexington Avenue.

Customers were asked to boil water used for drinking, cooking, making ice or coffee, brushing teeth and washing dishes for at least two minutes until the precautionary water advisory is lifted, officials said.

Officials said a construction crew was lowering a trench box into the ground and ruptured the water main.

"We're talking about several thousand gallons per minute that are spewing onto the roadway," said Tim Trudell, of the Orlando Utilities Commission said.

OUC said the pipe was one of the largest in the city. 

"Occasionally, we do have water main breaks. They're usually related to a fire hydrant that gets hit by a car or something like that," Trudell said. "They are nowhere near as large as terms of water volume as this."

I-4 runs next to the area, and video from News 6 helicopter Sky 6 showed water gushing and pooling at the construction site. The water was flowing north, causing the I-4 Big Drive project to be swamped in the area.

Garland Avenue was closed to traffic as part of the 14 month long S.R. 50 and I-4 interchange reconstruction project. Officials say that is the bright side to this soggy story.

"If you're looking for a silver lining, it's that this already had to be reconstructed," Dave Parks, of the I-4 Ultimate Project, said. "We're not undoing any work that's already been done, and it's work that had to be done at some point."

Crews stopped the water, pumped it out of the hole and removed the box. They're now working to figure out how to fix the pipe and prevent this from happening again.

"There's always the opportunity to take a look at something that has occurred, see if there are ways to improve your best practices and that's something that's going to be done here," Parks said.



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