Water Main Breaks Continue to Impact Local Businesses

January 12, 2018, 9:38 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (ANNE EMERSON, WTAT-TV) — Imagine running a hair salon with no water. That is exactly what Laura Matthews has done for the past two days at her salon in Hanahan.

“We’ve had to have customers shampoo their (own) hair, we’ve had to cancel appointments, we’ve had to heat water in microwaves, get buckets,” she explained.

After a major snowstorm, a second water main broke just outside her salon and it is hurting her bottom line.

“It has cost us because we are already a week behind with the snow, so we’ve had to put them (customers) off,” she said. “Plus, we’ve had to go buy our water. It’s time-consuming, time is money.”

Charleston Water System maintains the waterlines and blames the breaks on our extreme weather shifts and not the age of the pipes. Even though the pipe at this specific break is 92-years-old.

“Water mains are actually designed to last a hundred years or longer,” said an official with CWS. “The age of the pipe is not really the issue at hand. What we have is cold water in the pump pipes.”

According to officials, the temperature difference with our warmer days causes the pipes to become more brittle, and with water expanding at times, leads to the burst pipes.

For now, Matthew’s patiently continues to wash her customer’s hair with buckets and jugs of water. However, she does have a message for Charleston Water System; “Get us some water!”

Since last Wednesday’s winter blast, Charleston Water System has reported nearly 100 water main breaks. Right now, crews are still working to repair five of those breaks within their vast system of 2,800 miles of coverage.