Mars repairs broken line in water system
Residents told to reduce use
Cranberry Bureau Chief
Written by:
By J.W. Johnson Jr.
January 13, 2018

MARS — After nearly five days during which residents were asked to conserve water, Mars borough officials on Tuesday located the source of a system leak.

The city’s west side reservoir began fluctuating Thursday night, with some residents experiencing a loss of pressure and sporadic output. The single-digit temperatures made it hard for officials to find the cause of the problem, according to Mayor Gregg Hartung.

The search for the expected leak expanded to the entire borough, with a state water expert brought in to assist with the process. When the abnormality couldn’t be found, Hartung said residents were asked to keep an eye on their water use until temperatures rose.

“We tried to manage through the cold weekend by having people conserve water,” he said.

Hartung said those in some second-story apartments may have experienced more issues than others, and low pressure persisted throughout the west side of the borough. He said officials also worked to ensure residents at the St. John Specialty Care Center had service.

Throughout the weekend, residents were kept in the loop via social media and word of mouth, and also provided updates to borough officials.

“We’re very thankful for people reporting when they had pressure issues, because that was another indication to show where it possibly was,” he said.

By Tuesday, as temperatures rose above freezing, crews were able to locate what they believed to be the source of the leak in Long Alley.

The break was found on an 8-inch line that ran from Long Alley to Pittsburgh Street. Crews are gradually allowing air to be bled from the system to ensure additional breaks aren’t caused.

Residents are asked to continue to conserve water for the next few days to allow the reservoir to refill. Though water may appear murky, it is safe to drink.

Hartung said the fix was routine, but the combination of cold weather and a lack of an obvious break made locating it less so.

“Normally we can pinpoint a leak by water coming to the road or someone saying ‘hey, there’s a leak here,’” he said. “This one was difficult.”