Improper marking leads to water line leak in China Grove

Published 12:10 am Friday, August 18, 2023

CHINA GROVE — Water was restored to China Grove residents after accidental pipe damage was incurred by contractors working for Duke Energy.

The workers struck an improperly marked pipe near East Ketchie Street around 11 a.m. on Thursday.

According to Logan Kureczka, a lead communications manager with Duke Energy, the contractors were working on a reconductor and were digging by hand when their anchor went into the water pipe.

The work was to upgrade an existing line to carry more load and current to accommodate a new warehouse under construction on the other side of I-85.

“Prior to digging, our team took all the proper precautions to locate (or) call before we dig to make sure other utilities marked where their buried lines are,” Kureczka said. “So, we do not know why it was not properly marked.”

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities was called in to address the issue shortly after the leak was reported.

“We isolated the leak,” Assistant Utilities Director Jason Wilson said. “We shut two valves on either side of (the leak).”

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities did not shut the water flow off.

“There was so much (water) leaking out,” Wilson said. “We isolated the leak and now have folks coming to repair it.”

Wilson also confirmed that the lines were not correctly marked, which resulted in incidental contact with the pipe that caused the leak.

By 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, most of the impacted residents in China Grove had their water restored. Wilson said that it would take a couple of hours to repair the pipe and that East Ketchie Street residents in the 600 block would have their water back on later in the day.

Wilson added that pressure would be impacted until normal flow resumed following repair completion.