By Katie Johnston
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop)- Yesterday, on the corner of 14th and Cowart streets, a 24-inch water main pipe built in the early 1960’s, busted in the Southside district while an AT&T contracting crew was digging to put in their new “U-Verse” lines (Amy Katcher- News 12).
The pipe busted early yesterday morning causing some businesses and restaurants to shut down. Because of health code standards, restaurants must have at least a pencil stream of water to remain open (wrcbtv.com).
Chattanooga suffered another water main break earlier this year in January, when a pipe busted on Brainerd Road. Unlike the water main that busted on Cowart Street, this was caused by the temperatures rising and dropping and causing movement in the ground that resulted in ruptured pipes (Chattanoogan.com).
Residents of St. Elmo reported little to no running water and Chattanooga Christian School was forced to close at 12:30 PM (Chattanoogan.com).
Niko’s Southside Grill, a restaurant located at the intersection of 14th and Cowart, stayed open but business was slow.
“We still have water but this has been going on this morning. It’s 1:20 PM and they still haven’t shut the leak off. You’d think the city would plan for these kinds of things better,” said Leah Bockert, a waitress at Niko’s Southside Grill. “Not only is the restaurant suffering because of the water main, but I have bills to pay and I work for tips.”
Bockert said that the contractors who busted the water main did not even notify anyone that they had done so.
Other businesses in the Southside were not as heavily affected, such as Southside Salon.
Jennifer Ward, Owner and Stylist of the salon said, “Thankfully our water is still working. If we didn’t have water then we couldn’t shampoo client’s or have our restrooms operating and that would really affect our business.”
As of this morning, the water main is plugged up and water ceases to flow freely through the streets in the Southside district. Businesses are opened back up and the Tennessee American Water Company says to expect some discolored water or air in their water line, as it is all a part of the process of fixing this bust and allowing those affected by it to go about their lives again with clean water (NewsChannel9.com).
Amy Katcher, News 12
Jennifer Ward, Owner and Stylist of Southside Salon
Leah Bockert, Waitress at Niko’s Southside Grill