Water main breaks occupy Perry city workers Friday

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Two simultaneous water main breaks — one at Eighth and Warford streets and one at Dewey Avenue and Winter Street — brought workers from the Perry Water Works and Perry Public Works departments to the scenes Friday shortly before noon.

The Dewey Avenue break was discharging a large volume of water into the street north of the Perry Elementary School and saturating the parking along the north side of the roadway.

Perry Water Works Accounting Manager Pam Ballard said the breaks might be related to the demand on the city’s water system recently made by Tyson Fresh Meats, which temporarily switched from drawing from their on-site well to the Perry Water Works supply.

Perry Water Works staff member Matt Holmes said the timing of the breaks was unfortunate because the Perry water tower is currently out of service due to routine cleaning, so the unplanned demand from Tyson might have coupled with the reduced supply to cause the breaks in the distribution system.

Holmes also said the breaks could be wholly unrelated to Tyson’s usage. He also said the Dewey Avenue line does not supply any service lines, so the main can be safely closed without disrupting residential water service.

When Tyson Fresh Meats begins or ends an unplanned drawing off the Perry municipal system, it sometimes causes a hydraulic shock, commonly called a water hammer, which happens when water in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly. Main breaks are sometimes a result.

ThePerryNews.com will update this story as information becomes available.

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