Businesses and homes in downtown Eclectic experienced an interruption in water service for several hours Tuesday, Feb. 4 when a 2-inch cast iron water pipe sprung a leak.

According to Mayor Gary Davenport, the town was notified of the leak located at the intersection of West Main and Howle streets around 4:30 p.m. that day.

“We suspected it was the fire hydrant on the corner that was leaking,” Davenport said. “We started digging about 9 a.m. Tuesday. It was, in fact, a 2-inch waterline that had been installed, if we had to guess, 80 years ago.”

Davenport said the town had no knowledge of the 2-inch pipe.

“We have no knowledge of where the line feeds from,” he said. “A decision was made about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday to go ahead and cut off water to the downtown area. The whole town was not cut off.”

Davenport said the town attempted to find the source of the pipe.

“We contacted downtown businesses that they were going to be without water for a few hours,” he said. “We still could not find where the water fed from.”

The town capped off the line with a valve and water was restored to effected locations by 9 p.m., Davenport said.

“The rain was coming in so we knew we had to get it fixed that night,” he said. “Other areas in town had water. Main Street and Kowaliga Road were still hot. Most the residences still had water unless they were in the immediate downtown area.”

Davenport said the incident did not pose any health issues to customers. 

“We partner with Alabama Rural Water,” he said. “They are our supervising agency. They were on site the entire time and monitor what we do. If for some reason it got to where we had to shut everything down then we would have to have Alabama Rural Water put out a notice that people need to boil their water.”

As for the mystery pipe, Davenport said the town has some more work to do.

“At this point in time, we cannot find anyone hooked to it,” he said. What we will have to do is trace it up stream and find out where it comes from.”

He said the town will have to open the fire hydrants in the area and turn off water valves.

“As soon as that hydrant shuts off, we will know we found that line,” Davenport said. “Then we will cap it off. We suspect there may be two homes hooked to that old line. If that is correct, we will put those homes on the 6-inch main we put in the ground recently.”