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Water main rupture sends MCLB workers home Thursday

MCLB-ALBANY — Officials at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany ultimately determined that a water main rupture early Thursday was what caused water pressure to suddenly drop aboard the base, resulting in non-essential personnel being sent home for the day.

The water main ruptured at approximately 3 a.m., draining the base’s water distribution and storage system. MCLB-Albany’s Installation and Environment Division was unable to locate the leak until 9:30 a.m. because of its location in a secluded area away from the installation’s main infrastructure.

Normally, an automated system restores water and pressure, but in this case, it was unable to do so because of the size of the rupture and the rate at which water was being lost. Crews were able to secure the affected part of the system and restored pressure within two hours of sealing that portion of the system, officials at the base said.

Without water for chillers, restrooms, firefighting capability and boiler support, among other things, a majority of personnel aboard MCLB-Albany were placed on administrative leave.

Labor and lost production costs have not yet been fully calculated, but the cost of the rupture is believed to be significant with the loss of a full work day for thousands of employees who had to leave the base, including civilian workers of the base command, Marine Corps Logistics Command and Marine Depot Maintenance Command, officials say.

The Child Development Center, Naval Branch Health Clinic and all food services were closed a result of the water main break, while the Marine Corps Exchange remained open to those with base access.

The installation was expected to be fully operational today.

While nearly $10 million was invested several years ago to update a portion of the distribution system, the installation command has planned a three-phase project to replace the rest of the system, officials say.

Officials also said on Thursday afternoon that an investigation into the cause of this specific leak was ongoing, and up-to-date information would be provided to the public, as well as its work force, as to the causes and preventative measures that will take place in the future.

Comments

dingleberry 11 months ago

My goodness! Goes to show sequester is no problem since these folks are being paid during this most dire situation. Most likely, overtime will be requested to make up for the lack of work done by these non-essential people during the pressure crisis and quite likely some of it will be approved. But it would be interesting to know how many non-essentials went home at this base that is pretty non-essential in its own right.

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Amazed2 11 months ago

Really! A leaking water pipe can minimize base operations!! Amazing. I would have thought if our Marines in combat put their life in harms way and live in makeshift quarters that our homeland base personnel could survive a shift or two with low water pressure. Hopefully this story does not Leak out!!.

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Amazed2 11 months ago

Obama probably did not pay the water bill.

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MissionFocused 11 months ago

It would be nice if the individuals squawking got their facts straight. However, that it too much like having common sense. Let me help you...

First: The base is mostly civilian - more than 4,000 with a little more than 300 total uniformed personnel.

Second: Low water pressure for us meant NO WATER - no toilets, water fountains, etc. Get it? Can you imagine that many people trying to use facilities without water or perform basic job functions?

Third: The water issue has been located and repaired - although earlier there was no way to tell how long it would take to repair. Only non-essential personnel were allowed to go home and sequestration has nothing at all to do with an emergency.

It is negative and blatantly racist attitudes like these that further divide this community. It's no wonder we are not any better off. It's sad for so many of you to be so miserable that you spend your days searching for opportunities to spew hatred. Wake up!

If this community is to truly improve and move forward - you know, repair the things you complain about - it is going to have to start with changing your attitudes and mindsets.

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Spike 11 months ago

The leak was a water main break of about 2 million gallons and complete loss of water pressure. Boilers and chillers don't operate without water and fires can't be extinguished in an emergency.

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MissionFocused 11 months ago

Thank you for the clarification sir.

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Spike 11 months ago

You 2 obviously have a lot of confidence in the Marines. BTW there are only about 300 Marines on the base while the other 4,000+ are civilians from the local community. The ignorance on this site is nothing short of amazing. Be glad when they transition it to another forum where anonymity is no longer an option.

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Amazed2 11 months ago

Sincerely have great confidence in the Marines!!! Some not all of Civil Service and Contract people give the non military a bad reputation out there. Hopefully the ones I speak of are not representative of but a limited number!!

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Jacob 11 months ago

If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail....

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Thurman 11 months ago

As one who is welll versed with this type of situation I commend the E&I people for finding this leak within a six and one-half (6 1/2) hour time frame. I have known of huge water mains which developed leaks under ground and/or concrete and no water was visible in the area of the break. Finding these type leaks with electronic means is difficult enough but with the pressure on these employees who found the break--I commend you. Isolating the area of the broken pipe was the only alternative to establish water/pressure within the base's piping structure in a timely manner. Now the hard part--digging up the area to find the broken pipe and the repairs as needed.

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Amazed2 11 months ago

I thought one article said 2 million gallons of water was lost or drained from system and storage tanks? Maybe that is bad information? If correct I would think finding the leak would not be too difficult. However the repair or temp repair may have been difficult.

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