NEWPORT—Newport Utilities is currently working on a waterline on Rock Hill Road that was affected by a landslide during the recent heavy rains and the heavy river flow along the French Broad River.

David Gilliam, Systems Engineer at NU, said the line settled with the sliding earth, causing the line to break.

“Our standby crew responded and isolated the section of line with valves,” Gilliam said. “The good news is we have no meters in between these valves so we have no customers out of water. This does restrict flow however, and fire flow would be affected.”

NU plans to use two crews to install new pipe on the opposite side of road.

It will be around 500 feet of pipe, and Gilliam said it will probably take two to three days of construction depending on how much rock the crews encounter.

“It should prevent this from happening in the future again as well. Very similar to what happened on Lehigh last year in February.”

The replacement will require Rock Hill Road to be closed through Saturday, February 15. The closure will be from the Hwy 321 and the Rock Hill Road intersection to the Lakota Way and Rock Hill Road intersection.

Gilliam said NU must flush and disinfect the line before putting it back in service by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

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