PPUC Press Release – On Thursday January 4, 2018 at 4:00pm, PPUC- Water and Wastewater Operations (WWO) crews were dispatched to Ngetkib, Airai by the bus stop near KB Shell where they discovered that a potential major leak has caused water to spew out from underground and damaging the asphalt road. [restrict]
Due to the severity of the situation, water was shut off at 4:30pm in order for repair works to commence. After consulting with PPUC CEO, Acting WWO Manager Clarence Masayos quickly called Senator Mason N. Whipps for assistance to which he agreed.
Discovery of Leak and Repair Works
Surangel crews began to dig in an effort to find the leak. After several hours of digging, they finally discovered a major leak on a 12 inch asbestos pipe. The asbestos pipe was right under a 32 inch culvert and was damaged on both sides. In fact, there was no gap between the asbestos pipe and the culvert. The damaged asbestos pipe was replaced at 6:00am on the following day, Friday January 5, 2018. However, when WWO operators turned the water back on, they noticed that water was still seeping out of the pipe. Therefore, water was turned off again at 11am on Friday, January 5th in order to repair the leaking pipe. Crews had to wait for the water to drain out of the pipe in order to begin repairs. By 1:00pm that afternoon, the pipe was all set to be replaced. A new pipe was modified first before it was used to replace the leaking pipe. At 2:30pm, repairs were completed and the water was back to normal.
Cause of Failure
The 32 inch cross culvert (cross drain) had settled atop the asbestos pipe and cracking it; therefore, causing a major leak. Further investigation confirms that the soil foundation of the culvert had soften due to underground water. Additionally, the inlet of the culvert appeared to be clogged with debris. The inlet of the culvert receives a seasonal flow of water from a stream uphill. Since the inlet is clogged, incoming flow does not enter the cross culvert rather it accumulates and percolates into the ground. Although water had been turned off and pipes drained, the water from the stream continued to seep out from the soil. [/restrict]