Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 15, 2014

Reservoir work a drain on city hydrants

Valve project requires drop in pressure

— CUMBERLAND — In an effort to relieve pressure on the city water lines while work continues on the reservoir at Constitution Park, the releasing of water from many of the city’s fire hydrants is expected to continue at least through Friday, according to city officials.

“We are replacing two 36-inch valves, an in valve and out valve, at the Fort Hill Reservoir at Constitution Park,” said Jeff Rhodes, city administrator.

Rhodes said the Fort Hill Reservoir had to be drained during the valve replacement project, canceling the reservoir’s pressure-relieving capacity on
the city water lines.

“A large water system needs to be able to relieve pressure within itself,” said Rhodes.

Opening the fire hydrants and allowing water to flow into the storm drains has been done to provide the release of pressure the reservoir had been doing.

“The water is treated. It seems illogical, but it is needed. We are in no danger of draining the system,” said Rhodes.

Following the heavy rains in the region, Rhodes said the water level at Lake Gordon, the city’s water source, has been high and is currently being released over the spillway.

Several above-ground and underground reservoirs are at
different elevations in the city. The reservoir at Brown Avenue is an example, according to Rhodes.

“The reservoirs are holding tanks. That is one of the roles they play,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes said that being in a mountain town creates extra challenges for Cumberland.

The draining of the fire hydrants will stop when the valve replacement project at the Fort Hill Reservoir has been completed.

“We anticipate we may be able to close the hydrants on Friday but we are not sure just yet,” said Rhodes.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

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