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Hydrant break stirs up water for residents

GRANGEVILLE – Water was safe but a little cloudy for city water consumers following a Saturday morning vehicle accident that took out a fire hydrant across from Prairie View Cemetery.

No injuries resulted from the Jan. 31 crash, reported on the truck route at 6:43 a.m., though possible water damage may have been suffered by neighboring residence.

According to Grangeville Police Chief Morgan Drew, Lueshawntel Yost, 39, of Potlatch, was driving a Toyota pickup westbound when she lost traction while negotiating a right-hand corner. The pickup slid across the eastbound lane and onto Nezperce Street where it sheared off a fire hydrant.

A city public works crew took approximately 20 minutes to shut off water to the damaged line, according to Bob Mager, city water department. City damages are estimated at more than $1,000.

“It did what it was supposed to do; it sheared off at the base,” Mager said of the hydrant. However, due to the softness of the ground, this allowed for damage to extend to and crack the six-inch-diameter PVC pipe. Hydrant replacement at this location is pending receiving parts, as well as for the ground to sufficiently dry.

The break came at a bad time to aggravate sediment normally present in the line, when city water usage increases for morning consumption and showers, and when well pumps kick in to fill the system. Water lines were stirred up due to the rush of water to this point and pumps backfilling the system. Mager stressed the system did not lose pressurization as a result of the incident — the water was safe for consumption.

“Nobody wants dirty water,” he said, but it takes patience and time for this to flush out. In such instances, he recommends running house faucets – especially the bathtub – for 10 to 15 minutes periodically.

GPD Officer Paul Orgish investigated the crash. Dale’s Rescue Towing provided wrecker services.


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