Major water leak found in Kobler

This almost cave-like fissure beneath a section of a road in Koblerville has been identified as a major source of water leak. (CUC)

This almost cave-like fissure beneath a section of a road in Koblerville has been identified as a major source of water leak. (CUC)

A Commonwealth Utilities Corp. crew unearthed a major water leak in Koblerville yesterday—an almost cave-like fissure beneath a section of Bibika Road between Hannam Market and Saipan Southern High School.

The leak was found by a team of CUC’s Glenn Villagomez after the leak detection team of V.J. Concepcion and Chris Deleon Guerrero tracked the source of the leak.

CUC information officer Brad Ruszala said the leak was found after isolating the area where there was low water pressure and with the use of ground-miking equipment.

“When the crew came in and excavated, they eventually found where it was and the more they excavated, all of a sudden, the ground opened up and there was a huge cavity on the ground that was caused by the leak, probably for years,” said acting CUC executive director John Riegel.

Based on the amount of water that was in the cavity and the water markings, it is possible that the leak has been going on for quite some time now.

Riegel said there is a 6-inch main pipe underneath the road but the leak is probably coming from the 2-inch pipe that is connected to the main. The leak could be caused by a crack, corrosion, or connecting issues.

According to Riegel, CUC first noticed the difference in water pressure in that area during the recovery stage after Typhoon Soudelor. They later received complaints of low water pressure in the area.

Ruszala said the water pressure in the affected area went as low as 19 pounds per square inch, from the more normal 40 psi.

“We try to provide our customers with the best water pressure possible and when it goes down, we try to find out why it went down,” Ruszala said.

As of yesterday, finding the actual part of the pipe that was damaged and its repair was still ongoing. Some parts of Koblerville were without water yesterday.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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