Editor’s note, 5:30 p.m.: This story will be updated as more information comes in.
A water pipe failure that the city is calling “catastrophic” is affecting service for more than 15,200 customers in southwest Davidson County, south of I-440 between Harding Pike and I-65. Some customers in the affected area might see a loss of water pressure; others might not have any water at all, according to a city press release. The water shortage is expected to continue until some time tomorrow. Metro Water director Scott Potter says households and businesses need to turn off outdoor sprinkler systems tonight. “If people will not irrigate tonight and only use water for cooking, bathing and drinking, we should be good to go,” he says.
The problem is a 40-year-old damaged pipe near One Hundred Oaks Mall. Several temporary pumps are being installed to redirect water from other parts of the city, although it may not help all customers. Mayor Karl Dean says he is “optimistic” that the temporary fix, which should be ready by early Thursday morning, will leave customers with sufficient water pressure. Metro Water Services will replace the full length of the pipe over the next several days. In the meantime, Potter says, bottled water stations are being set up at Crieve Hall Elementary and Hillsboro High School for anyone who isn’t getting adequate water from their faucets. Daniel Everett, a valet at the Mall at Green Hills, says he’s had to turn customers away. “Most of the people here are coming for the Cheesecake Factory because it’s National Cheesecake Day, and I’ve been having to disappoint a lot of people,” he says. A spokeswoman said crews are still trying to determine the cause of the damage, according to the Tennessean.