LUMBERTON — Residents needing water in a section of Lumberton on Monday night had to go without for several hours.
A water main broke near Carthage Road and Riverside Boulevard about 5 p.m.
“About four or five blocks in both directions were shut off because of the power of the water involved,” said Levie Taylor, a 15-year employee of the Lumberton Public Works Department. “The strength of the water would have created a gusher of water in the area if it had not been shut off.”
“The pipe was an AC pipe,” he said. “It’s probably been here since my father worked here, about 50 years ago.”
The plastic replacement material was installed about 10:45 p.m. The hole had to be covered and resurfaced before service was resumed after midnight.
“They don’t make the asbestos-cement pipe anymore. It breaks over time,” said Brandon Branch, a two-year department employee.
Asbestos-cement pipe has been used in water systems across the United States since the mid-1900s, but the probable lifespan of the material is about 70 years. That number depends on the condition of the pipe pieces and the area where they are installed.
“Cold weather can make cast-iron pipes break. It happens all the time,” Taylor said. “The AC stuff is probably just because of age.”
Reach David Bradley at 910-739-2361 or [email protected]