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Posted on: October 12, 2017

Water Flow Resumes Along the SR 520 Transmission Line

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The City of Cocoa Utilities Department completed repairs to the 36 inch water transmission main break in the Indian River and final testing was completed.  Utilities staff have opened the isolation valves to allow water to flow from Cocoa to Merritt Island along the SR 520 corridor.  Failed sections of pipe were found to be the main cause for the loss in system pressure during Hurricane Irma and have remained isolated to complete the needed repairs.  Water was being delivered to all barrier island customers through alternate pipes in the system.     

During Hurricane Irma, the river bed under this water transmission main, along the SR 520 corridor, experienced undermining from the force and velocity of the currents flowing through the channel which left certain sections of the pipes suspended and subjected to the storm surge.  The joints connecting the pipes gave out, causing the break and loss in pressure to the entire system at about 4:30am, Monday, September 11, 2017. 

Within hours of this break, caused by this historically destructive storm system, Utilities staff worked to isolate the system at the break, re-route water through the system, and was able to reestablish service to all of our customers in approximately 2 ½ days.  One week after the storm had passed, a dive crew had been fully mobilized and began the necessary repairs to the transmission line, as well as inspecting the entire subaqueous line along SR 520.   

 Although this is a significant step towards returning the utility system to full operation, there is still work to be completed.  The diving contractor will continue to work over the next few weeks to support undermined pipes and cover and protect exposed pipes along SR 520.  In addition, concrete joints and encasements must be poured underwater to protect the repair pieces installed.  Moreover, the divers will also complete additional underwater assessments along SR 528 and SR 401 subaqueous crossings and implement any corrective measures as needed.

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