Charleston Harbor water main repairs planned over weekend

Repairs are planned this weekend on a broken water main under Charleston Harbor that supplies Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms. If the repairs are successful, Charleston Water System service to the islands will be restored by early next week.

A broken pipe under Charleston Harbor that supplies water to Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms may be fixed over the weekend, officials said.

If that happens, regular water service will return to the islands early next week, said Charleston Water System spokeswoman Jenny Craft.

"We don't know exactly how long it's going to take. It depends on how the repairs go over the weekend. But we're hoping it will be next week," Craft said.

Since Thursday, Isle of Palms has been providing water for both islands through wells and a reverse osmosis system.

"We are unsure of the schedule, but we do not anticipate any additional restrictions on water usage at this time. We will continue to request customers and visitors to the island to be mindful of their water usage during the duration of the repair," said IOP Water and Sewer Commission General Manager Kristen Champagne.

Both islands have restricted use of water for irrigation. Residents are being urged to limit indoor water consumption. Sullivan's is monitoring daily demand but at this time there are no additional restrictions on water use anticipated, said Town Administrator Andy Benke.

Residents may notice a slight change in the taste, feel and temperature of their drinking water during the temporary switch to deep well water, the town said.

"There is adequate water to supply both islands, but in an abundance of caution Sullivan's Island residents are requested to be mindful of water consumption until Charleston Water System completes its repairs," Sullivan's says at its website.

CWS provides drinking water to Sullivan's and supplements the IOP supply through a 20-inch water main that crosses the Harbor.

IOP is using its primary and back-up wells to serve its customers and Sullivan's until repairs are complete.

A specially-ordered clamp will be placed over the water main leak to stop it, and the pipe will be reinforced using other measures as part of a two-phase repair plan, Craft said.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711