At least 500 without water in south Charlotte

Between 500 and 800 residents in south Charlotte were without water for most of Friday as utility workers struggled to repair a leaky service line.

The problem line was in the 4700 block of McKee Road, just off Providence Road. Workers first responded to the problem Thursday night and determined the leak needed immediate attention.

Workers expected to have the line back up and running Friday morning, but as of 10:30 p.m. only part of the affected area was back in service.

“It has been a complicated repair,” said Vic Simpson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities spokesman. “It usually takes a few hours, but this one was deeper than they expected.”

Service lines typically run from water mains to a few homes. Fixing one, however, often requires shutting off the water main.

Simpson said fixing the unusually large service line – about 8 inches in diameter – also required some parts and equipment that workers did not expect. He said workers had difficulty fully shutting off water so they could excavate the pipe safely. Simpson also said they had to bring in a larger pump to get water out of the hole.

The utility department made half-gallon jugs of water available for residents at its work site, and later in the day, some workers went door-to-door with water jugs.

“We know it has been a long night for folks,” Simpson said.

Simpson said utility workers would be going around the clock until the repairs are done. Officials expected the line to be back up later Friday.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr. contributed.