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Crabtree Mall Flushes Hydrants, Knocks Out Water

Posted July 19, 2007

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— Thousands of residential and business customers lost water service after Crabtree Valley Mall opened 11 fire hydrants on Wednesday morning to flush the complex's water lines.

Water coming from faucets in mall businesses was discolored, so the operations department opened the s hydrants between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., a mall spokesperson said.

That rush of water caused service to be cut off to thousands of nearby residences and businesses, said Raleigh utilities officials.

"What it did was simulate a water main break," said Dale Crisp, Raleigh's public utilities director.

The water released through the hydrants over 30 minutes would fill more than 15 backyard swimming pools, Crisp said.

Taverna Agora was one of dozens of businesses whose water was reduced to a trickle for about an hour.

"We cannot open and do business without having water. You can't wash the dishes, you can't serve the customers. It's a little complicated," said Bill Kalyvas, manager of Tavern Agora.

Crisp said the city is investigating the possibility that mall workers violated city rules.

"At this point, there's reason to believe they may have opened one of the city's hydrants. That, of course, is a violation without our permission to do that," Crisp said.

The mall could face fines and tougher regulations to ensure it doesn't waste so much water again, the utilities director said.

Most of the mall's hydrants are on private property, which means that the mall is not required to tell the city when it is going to flush them.

A spokesperson said Crabtree Valley Mall has flushed the hydrants several times in the past without affecting service to the surrounding area.

Business operators said they are glad water service was restored after about an hour.

"Thank God, thank God. The water came back on. We can move on," said Kalyvas.


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  • Familymatters Jul 19, 2007

    Big you are once again correct, thats what happens when you wait years to flush end lines.

    As to the scenario you posited commentator you state plainly that that did NOT happen in this case, but you continue on to MAKE UP something to complain about.

    Sometimes I wonder how people get by in life being so miserable that they can never let an opportunity to complain about something that WAS minuscule in the overall scheme of life pass them by, so, by all means, kick, scream and moan, and when your done - finish putting away your toys and make your bed!

  • BigUNCFan Jul 19, 2007

    Is this flushing to prevent problems similar to the backflow problem experienced last fall in Cary with the bacteria that shut down cary water for a weekend?

  • Linxx Jul 19, 2007

    it was only an hour!

  • YeahWhatever Jul 19, 2007

    I think you should sign up for the head removal operation first, "Family" as you have grossly oversimplified the issue.

    Let me posit this scenario: It's 12pm (or 6pm) and Crabtree started this poorly planned nonsense. You own a restaurant. Suddenly, you have no water!

    What do you do? You have to close your restaurant during your most profitable business hours!

    Did that happen in this case? No. Do I think it was sheer luck that it didn't happen? Yes! They are lucky that they didn't put a bunch of businesses in a position to (justifiably) sue them for lost income.

    It is true that hydrants have to be flushed...very very occasionally. When was the last time anyone had the hydrants flushed on their streets? I'm guessing years. It's also true that you should consult with the city anytime you do something of that magnitude. Having personally been involved with performing such a flush, you don't open TEN HYDRANTS at one time.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jul 19, 2007

    Thank you Familymatters- very well said!

  • Familymatters Jul 19, 2007

    Biguncfan(me too btw) Yes, that is exactly what can happen,not only is crabtree allowed to flush the hydrants they own, they are required to do so by law, as is ANY water system owner over a certain size.

    All you people complaining, if crabtree didn't flush the hydrants and you all started getting sick you would blame someone and want to sue.

    The water at the ends of large lines does not circulate enough to prevent bacteria buildup and stagnation, bacteria buildup is like grass growing,if you don't mow it it keeps on growing, bacteria would eventually "grow" into circulating pipes,then it could very well wind up coming out of your tap.

    Get your heads outta your rear ends long enough to realise what crabtree was doing was necessary and find something real to complain about.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jul 19, 2007

    People are always going to complain about something. If the mall hadn't flushed their hydrants, people would've complained about the brown water in their glass at the Cheesecake Factory or something. Stop whining so much!

  • BigUNCFan Jul 19, 2007

    Why does flushing make the water better? Does the stagnant water in the hydrants seep into the water that goes out of the tap and spigots?

  • exploitedagain Jul 19, 2007

    Good to know everyone is doing their part during our new cities water restrictions. 15 pools in a half hour. That sure could have helped my lawn. Oops! I can't water on Wednesday.
    It seems a better use of the flushed water could have been administered.

  • methinks Jul 19, 2007

    Actually, Crabtree can be fined for two reasons...1) you can't flush a city hydrant, the city has to do it or give premission, 2) you can't do anything to the water system period that will cause adverse effects on others. It is like trying to put a dam on a stream so you keep the water and you neighbors don't have any. You can't do that. At best Crabtree will be made to pay for the gallons of water they flushed and at worst they will be fined for doing something Stupid.