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Here is the latest on Thursday’s water main break near the Port of Bellingham

Crews work to repair water main near Port

Bellingham Public Works crews work to repair a water main that broke early Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Bellingham, Wash. The main serves PSE’s Encogen plant and Port of Bellingham properties along Cornwall Avenue.
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Bellingham Public Works crews work to repair a water main that broke early Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Bellingham, Wash. The main serves PSE’s Encogen plant and Port of Bellingham properties along Cornwall Avenue.

City of Bellingham Public Works crews have repaired an industrial water main that broke near the Port of Bellingham early Thursday, Sept. 12. The main provides untreated water to the Puget Sound Encogen plant along Cornwall Avenue.

The main broke at approximately 4 a.m. Thursday due to corrosion of old bolts on a fitting from 1929, interim Public Works Director Eric Johnston told The Bellingham Herald. It was repaired by 1 p.m. after crews determined the fitting was no longer needed and replaced it with a new section of pipe.

By 3 p.m. the damaged road near where the main broke was temporarily repaired and open for traffic, Johnston said. Permanent resurfacing of the road will be done in the next several weeks.

“We understand and regret the inconvenience to water customers in that area,” a post on the city’s Facebook page read. “Fortunately, this is an infrequent occurrence. Hundreds of miles of water mains deliver clean, safe water to more than 90,000 people with 11 million gallons of water 24 hours per day, seven days a week.”

Managers at the Encogen plant reported “very minimal impact to the facility, and our customers will not be affected,” PSE spokesperson Andrew Padula told The Herald.

Port of Bellingham Emergency Management and Security Officer Neil Clement told The Herald that one of the biggest impacts he saw was from the road closures, as the Port had to re-route trucks carrying large rocks through downtown to the waterfront.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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