Massive waterline breaks yields 48-hour boil order

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – A 48-hour boil order is now in effect for Belmont County Sanitary Sewer District customers residing along Ohio 331 and U.S. 40 following a massive waterline break early Wednesday near the Ohio University Eastern campus.

It was reported that a subcontractor was drilling for a power pole when crews struck an 8-inch water main. Mark Esposito, Belmont County Sanitary Sewer District director, said at first, his crews were not sure which line was hit.

“In this particular area, there is an 8-inch water line, a 12-inch water line, sewer lines, gas lines, telephone lines,” Esposito said.

He added that it is one of the most complex areas to figure out which valve needed to be shut off. “All we can do is just shut valves down until we could determine which line was broken,” Esposito said.

Not long after the break, water was restored to all homes, businesses and schools along Ohio 331 and U.S. 40 west toward Morristown.

There are several high-pressure water lines in that area, and multiple lines are grouped together. Crews were able to shut off the valve around noon.