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Water main break shuts part of Hulton Road in Oakmont

| Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, 3:09 p.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Oakmont Water Authority employees repair a break in the main line between 13th and 15th streets on Hulton Road in Oakmont on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
An Oakmont fire police officer directs traffic as Oakmont Water Authority employees shut off water to a break in the line between 13th and 15th Streets on Hulton Road on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.

A water main break near the Oakmont Country Club shut down Hulton Road for several hours on Sunday between 13th and 15th streets.

Oakmont police closed the road about 1:15 p.m. when the break flooded both lanes and sent water flowing downhill toward homes between Hulton Road and Oak Street.

Bruno Stanga, an Oakmont Water Authority plant operator, said it was unclear how much water flowed downhill before the authority shut down the line. The line was shut down within 20 minutes, he said.

“It's difficult to say, but it's rare that one of these breaks would shut down both lanes,” he said. “Usually, traffic is reduced to a single lane after a line break, so it must have been a decent amount of water.”

There were no reports of flooding from residents in the affected area, according to police.

Traffic was diverted down 13th and 15th streets and across Oak Street while crews worked to clear Hulton Road and repair the line. There were no reports of crashes or icy conditions along the detour path, police said. Oakmont road crews salted the detour roads shortly after Hulton Road was closed.

Police reopened Hulton Road about 5:30 p.m. as a single, alternating lane while the water authority continued its repairs. Workers used a backhoe to dig out the pipe for about eight hours before replacing the cracked, 20-foot pipe in the line.

About 15 households were without water.

It was unclear whether anything other than the winter weather caused the break, according to Stanga.

“ 'Tis the season for line breaks,” he said. “They've been popping up all over. The drastic changes in temperature this time of the year put a lot of stress on the pipes.”

The water line runs parallel to Hulton Road from the country club's main entrance to its east clubhouse, according to Stanga.

Stanga fielded calls as a dispatcher at the water authority's emergency number. Calls made to the water authority's main office for further information were unsuccessful.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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