UPDATE: Water main leak on Hwy 65 leaves businesses and residents dry, City patches problem before noon
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
EXETER – Water has been the bane of Exeter’s existence in recent months, and things only got worse for some residents and businesses this morning. According to interim city manager Eric Frost, a water main under Highway 65, a.k.a. Kaweah Avenue, near the Shell gas station sprung a leak during construction.
West Valley Construction was brought in to fix the leak and turned off the necessary water pumps to place a patch on the pipe. Unfortunately residents and businesses in downtown were left with a trickle coming from their tap. Exeter Coffee Company on Pine Street said their water pressure was low for about 15 minutes. However Sheri Forcum of the Exeter Whistle Stop Diner said that she was going to close down for the day and was irate that the City had not called her back about the problem.
Forcum said that this is just another water issue in a long line of issues she has faced as both a local business owner and resident. But when it comes to solving Exeter’s water infrastructure needs, she said she is willing to pay more per month on her water bill if need be.
New city manager Adam Ennis says the City is planning on permanently fixing the main tomorrow night. Unfortunately for the residents of Exeter the entire City’s water system will be turned off starting at 9 p.m. Friday to fix the main. Ennis said contractors should be done with the repair by 6 a.m. Saturday morning.
Water safety protocol calls for citywide water testing after the entire system is turned off and then brought back on. Ennis said Twine Laboratories in Fresno will test the water over the weekend and could take up to 24 hours. Until then, the City will issue a boil water notice telling residents to boil their water before ingesting it.