Village officials said they have fixed a major leak that caused pressure to drop along the entire water system for several days, prompted a boil-water advisory and forced Mayfield schools to close Monday.
The leak was traced to a blown gasket on the wellhead, which kept pumping runoff water into an unused well. “We believe we have it fixed and the pressure is slowly building,” said Trustee Paul Wilde.
He said the problem was discovered Saturday and remained unresolved until Monday afternoon.
Before the problem was fixed, the village had trouble maintaining a level in its 1 million gallon water tower. As a result, there was little or no water pressure along water lines feeding residences, businesses and village fire hydrants. “The water goes from the wells to the water tower a half-mile away and from the water tower we are not able to determine where the water is going. It is a major leak,” Wilde said early Monday.
The village was running three of its six wells to pump water to the tower, when under normal conditions it would run one well. He said normal pressure along the water lines is 70 pounds per square inch, or about 120 gallons per minute, and that the pressure dropped well below that level for several days.
During the problem, Wilde said fire coverage in the village was not a concern, even though there was little or no pressure to the hydrants. He said firefighters can always run high-capacity lines to nearby lakes for water should need arise. The department also has mutual aid agreements in place.
“The Fire Department is more than equipped to handle fighting fires. Fire is the least of our concerns,” Wilde said.
Mayfield Central School District closed Monday because of the lack of water pressure, said district Superintendent Paul Williamsen. He said he was told Sunday that there were problems with the water pressure and that the school might have to close due to health and safety concerns. The low pressure was confirmed at 5 a.m. Monday.
The school then notified staff, parents and guardians and students with its districtwide alert system and sent notices to local media for posting.
Still, Williamsen said he fielded a number of phone calls Monday from people who wanted to hear of the school’s closure firsthand.
The district will initially use a snow day to compensate for the loss of an academic day. Williamsen he will ask the state commissioner of education to waive the requirement, however, so that the district does not lose any state aid.