Straight from the Tap

Highland Road Main Break Update


The ruptured section of the 54" transmission main on HIghland Rd.

A large main break on Highland Road in Richmond Heights resulted in a boil advisory over the weekend. Cleveland Water repair crews, engineers, and water quality staff quickly acted to address the situation and restore service to affected customers.

But what exactly happened and what's next?

Late on Saturday, October 17, a main break occurred on a 54” transmission main. The break was found to be a ruptured section of the concrete pipe.

Transmission mains are like highways; they move large volumes of water from treatment plants and pump stations to smaller distribution mains. The transmission main that runs along Highland Road in Richmond Heights moves treated drinking water from our Nottingham Water Treatment Plant in Euclid to several pump stations, tanks and towers, and, ultimately, customers in the northeast section of our service area.

The Cleveland Water system is set up to be redundant, meaning water service can still be provided to customers even when a major piece of infrastructure fails. Although water service was shut off to the broken main in order to control the leak, water flow in other mains was redirected to restore pressure and provide water to affected customers.

While staff worked as quickly as possible to restore water pressure and service, due to the size of main and volume of water leaking, pressure in the surrounding area dropped low enough that we issued a precautionary boil advisory for affected customers, in accordance with Ohio EPA rules.

Water samples were then taken and tested from over 32 strategic locations to ensure the water was free from pathogens. These locations were carefully selected by our hydraulics engineers to be representative of all of the water flowing to customers in the affected area. All 32 samples tested negative for pathogens. The boil alert was lifted early on Monday, October 19, when these test results were reported from the laboratory.  

Highland Road was closed until Monday afternoon as a result of the break to allow our crews to uncover the pipe and assess the damage. For the time being, the road has one lane open in each direction using the north side of the street  

Due to the size and type of main, replacement parts need to be specially ordered to complete the repair. We are in contact with several vendors to supply the necessary materials. The timeline for repair and restoration work will be contingent on delivery times and contractor availability.

Once the parts arrive, the repair work will continue until the main is back in service and the restoration is complete. During this time, traffic patterns will likely change and/or detour will be in place to accommodate the construction.