Water line repairs tighten limits

More than half of Mecklenburg County faces tightened mandatory water restrictions beginning this weekend due to repairs on a 54-inch water main in south Charlotte.

All Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility customers south of Interstate 85 are prohibited from lawn watering, car washing, and pool or fountain filling beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. These limitations are already in place during weekdays because of the drought. The area covered by the tighter restrictions stretches from uptown and UNCC all the way to south Charlotte.

Officials enacted the new rules because they fear too much residential water use could bring Charlotte's water pressure to a dangerous low. The restrictions will be in place until further notice.

The Providence Road water main, near Briar Creek, burst more than a week ago. Officials said Thursday that the break was the likely cause of the multiple other leaks this week.

Pressure on the main line was reduced for repairs and increased in other parts of the system to keep water flowing into Charlotte's taps. The increased pressure put stress on weaker pipes, inducing other leaks and breaks.

Repairs on six of the seven leaks were scheduled for completion Thursday. The break at South Boulevard is being repaired.

Officials hope to have the Providence water main back into service by the first of next week.

But there is good news.

Weather forecasters report a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday, a 60 percent chance for Sunday and a 40 percent chance on Monday.