Underground water main leak brings about sinkhole

Published: Jan. 12, 2018 at 10:02 PM EST
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Friday, Jan. 12, 2018

(News 12 at 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Crews have been out all day trying to get a sinkhole fixed. It's big, crews have already dug up part of the street just to get down to the problem.

This is something people could start to see more of as Augusta’s water system underground continues to get older.

Patty Font was on her way back to work when she saw a sign.

"I had gone out to a meeting for lunch yesterday, and it was fine when I left and then when I came back the road was closed.”

"Oh my god what happened while I was gone?"

Patty wasn't gone for long, but it was enough time for someone to notice a sinkhole forming on Druid Avenue and Walton Way.

They called it in, and Augusta Utilities came out.

"In this case, we actually had an old water service leak, so there was water leaking into the ground it was carrying the dirt away getting into an old storm sewer,” director of Augusta Utility, Tom Wiedmeier said.

This isn't the only one. Another huge sinkhole opened up on Central Avenue a few months ago.

“There was thick concrete paving like six or eight inches of concrete so that void had been developing for years and years and finally it washed out enough where the concrete couldn't support it anymore."

Augusta utilities say sinkholes are common in these areas because of the old pipes underground.

"We see them in the older parts of the system which is all over the city, downtown, south Augusta areas that we have older systems."

And for now, it'll be harder for patty and others to get to work and their homes.

"It’s just a matter of having to go out and around instead of just turning there."

But Augusta Utilities says they are fixing it as fast as they can.

"It looks like we've got the water leak stopped so it looks like once we dig back and find the limits of once it's washed out, we'll just back-fill it and compact it and repave it."

And Patty hopes it doesn't take long.

"I’d like it to get fixed as soon as possible."

Since Walton Way is such a high traffic area, Augusta utilities say they hope to have it fixed soon, but that won't be until some time next week at the earliest.