Related Story

COLUMBIA - Several blueprints and over $400,000 later, new water pipes are ready to go.

Bryant Street and Switzler Street in central Columbia will have new water mains on each road, along with several, smaller modifications like new fire hydrants. The city water and light department presented the proposal to the public, and it passed without concerns on Thursday evening.

Joe Strodtman, an engineer with Columbia Water and Light, said projected costs are "an early estimate," and specific dates for construction will be released shortly.

"We're working through the neighborhood, and finding the areas with the most breaks, finding the customers most-affected, and replacing those mains as we can," Strodtman said.

Strodtman said water quality is fine for properties along both streets. He said the new water main is part of regular maintenance and is within the department's budget.

"We've had no quality concerns in this area," Strodtman said. "It's strictly just water maintenance for us. We have a budget where we go out, and we replace water pipes. These pipes are reaching that age where we're going to start experiencing more breaks and leaks than we have in the past."

"We prioritize our budget based on the areas that are getting the most breaks and where we perceive we'll be getting them, along with impact. We prioritize by trying to replace the mains that are going to impact the most people."

Strodtman said "short, scheduled outages" will cause some residents to temporarily have no access to tap water from their properties, but it wouldn't be longer than "a few hours."