BEATRICE – On a frigid New Year’s Day, a water main broke in north Beatrice, leaving a small river running down 7th and Irving Streets. The break in the main was reported by police at around 5:15 p.m., when the temperature stood at zero.
A police vehicle blocked traffic along the outside northbound lane north from 6th and Monroe, where the water from the line break was flowing to the west and was covering part of U.S Highway 77, or North 6th.
City water department personnel were summoned to shut off the line near the break, which happened near 8th and Park Streets. Water Superintendent Steve Kelley says crews repaired the break with a clamp, and permanent repairs will have to be made later. The break occurred both vertically and horizontally along the six-inch diameter cast iron water main. Kelley estimated the main is about 60 to 70 years old. The city has been gradually replacing the old mains, and Kelley says about 40% of the water mains in the city are now PVC.
About five or six homes in the area of the break lost water service. Kelley says the shut off of two valves and the repairs to the break, took about five hours. He says everyone in the area should have their water service restored.
Kelley says the city typically sees several water main breaks from January through March. Crews repaired a break last week in a water main, near 25th and Elk Streets.
Street crews were called out to apply sand and salt to icy areas on the streets created by the water overflow.