Wide Load Leaves Town Waterless in its Wake

RIDGEWAY – When an enormous piece of equipment moved through town last week on its way to the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, it left behind one minor casualty: the Town of Ridgeway’s water system. Ridgeway issued a boil advisory early Friday morning to all customers of its water, which was not lifted until just after noon Tuesday. Not because of any break in the water lines, the town said Monday, but because of an electrical fuse in one of the power pole transformers, which was moved to make way for the multi-ton equipment snaking its way gingerly through Ridgeway and was not replaced.

Ridgeway said that fuse allows the town’s water tanks to “talk” to each other. When the main tank runs low on water, it “asks” the backup tank to send it more. With the fuse out of commission, the main tank ran low and could not be refilled. Customers began to notice the problem early Friday morning, nearly 10 hours after the truck carrying the oversized load had passed through town.

South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), which had to trim a number of trees and move power poles in order for the load to pass through on its way to Jenkinsville, replaced the fuse Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, a bypass line had been opened up to allow water to flow into the empty tank. That line contained sediment, causing customers to see a discoloration in their water. Because of the drop in water pressure, Ridgeway was required to send test samples of the water to the S.C. Department of Environmental Control (DHEC), which were submitted Monday morning. Ridgeway said there is typically a 24-hour turnaround time for such samples, which must be cleared by DHEC before the boil advisory can be lifted.

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