Water main breaks affect thousands in Madison and Jessamine Counties

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JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- Two water main breaks have affected thousands of people  in Jessamine and Madison counties since the start of this week. In Jessamine county, school is cancelled Tuesday because the break affects so many campuses.

The Nicholasville Utlities Director says it is pure coincidence there are breaks in multiple counties right now. He says the weather, which often causes breaks, is not to blame.

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In fact, his team is still trying to figure out why this happened. The break is repaired now, but it is still making life around town more difficult than usual.

The ice is store bought and the water boiled at the Cottage Café in Nicholasville.

“People are frustrated because they can’t have fountain drinks,” Server Libby Wright said.

Wright says the water main break on the bypass in Nicholasville means she can only serve customers tea, coffee, and food prepared over the weekend.

“Everyone’s been real good about it,” Wright said.

She says it has been slow, but she blames that more on the holiday than on the water main break.

She says she might even be making money, rather than losing it, because people cannot just drink free water. Still, she is not looking forward to the inconvenience when she gets home.

“I don’t have tea made at home. I don’t have a tea maker at home…I’m going to have to go buy some jugs of water,” Wright said.

Public Utilities Director Bob Amato says what is now a muddy hole was shooting water up 30 feet Monday morning.

“The break was really unexpected. It’s our biggest back bone main,” Amato said.

He says the main broke early Monday morning, leaking about a million gallons of water in just minutes. He says crews had it repaired by Monday afternoon, but it is still unclear why the break happened. The pipe is relatively new, nothing had been driving on it, and there has not been a big shift in temperature.

“It just split down the top of one section of pipe,” Amato said.

He says engineers will investigate and test that pipe. He estimates the break affects 3,800 customers who now have to boil their water for three minutes before drinking it.

“It is a big burden on the restaurants in particular,” Amato said.

It is a burden Libby Wright is looking forward to shaking off.

“We do take our water for granted. We take clean drinking water for granted,” Wright said.

Bob Amato says he expects to cancel the boil water advisory around 5 p.m. Tuesday. It impacts all City of Nicholasville consumers located north of Edgewood Drive, west of Shun Pike, and the Squires Lake Area, Meadowlark Subdivision area, Orchard Subdivision, Rainbow Drive, and all customers west (outside) of the Nicholasville bypass are under the advisory.

In Madison County, the advisory was lifted Monday evening for all Richmond Utility customers, which includes the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. The advisory is still in effect, as of this writing, for all Madison County Utilities and Kirksville Water Association customers.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!