Water main break closes Neillsville schools - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Water main break closes Neillsville schools

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NEILLSVILLE (WAOW) -

For the second time in two weeks, a school in our area had to close because of a water main break.

This time, it happened in Neillsville.

Workers had to dig seven feet into the ground to fix a cracked pipe.

The water leak was discovered Wednesday afternoon by a Neillsville bus driver.

"As the buses were coming in to take the kids home, one of our bus drivers noticed that water was coming up through our parking lot on the north side where our buses pick up the kids," said John Gaier, Neillsville Superintendent.

The bus driver told school officials what was going on.

Gaier said it didn't take long to figure out there was a problem with the water main, and officials shut off the water.

But workers could not fix the break until the next day.

"We had to cancel school today so we could fix the water main because we had no water in our elementary and middle school," said Gaier.

Workers dug down to where the leak was and repaired the cracked pipe.

Then they filled the hole with sand and gravel as a temporary fix until the area can be covered with blacktop in spring.

The entire process took about six hours.

"Very fortunate that it happened out where it did and did not cause any damage to the building. So, we're very thankful for that," said Gaier.

The superintendent says the problem only affected the parking lot.

"We haven't had any problems with anything else. We think this is pretty much an isolated incident, and it's just part of the normal wear and tear. So, we don't expect to have any more problems," said Gaier.

School officials say they're sure the students enjoyed the day off, but they will have classes Friday.

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