Crews working to repair water main that services more than half of Sarasota County

Sarasota County is working to fix a water main break after a directional drilling contractor hit a 42-inch water line Thursday evening. 

"It’s causing us to lose a million and a half gallons a day out of a 2-inch hole," said Michael Mylett, the director of public utilities for Sarasota County. 

He said the contractor was not affiliated with the county, and they are working to identify the company responsible. 

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"I don’t know who they were working for. They hit our line, when we got down here they packed up and left," he said. 

Before lunchtime on Friday, Sarasota County crews were able to shut down the water main as they worked on the repair. Lauren Road near Ancora Boulevard remains closed. 

"We still have enough water. We are still providing the same amount of water, it’s just at a reduced pressure," said Mylett. "It’ll be much more noticeable in multi-story buildings. It takes more pressure to get up two or three stories."

Since the main carries more than half of the capacity of water for the entire county, nearby cities are stepping in to help. 

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"Our regional partners have been fantastic in cooperating with us," Mylett said. "We worked with Peace River Authority to increase our requests from them. We’ve worked with the city of North Port. We’ve opened up our interconnect with the City to help support our Southern distribution center. The City of Venice has been a terrific partner because there’s a water main we had to isolate in order to get down to our main to make repairs."

Once the repair is finished an investigation will begin. Sarasota County said the company responsible for the break will also foot the bill. 

"It will be expensive. Not only the county, but the City of Venice, because we had to isolate their line as well, so there will be substantial costs in this repair," said Mylett. 

There is no boil water notice in place at this time. Water is anticipated to turn back on Saturday afternoon and the roadway is anticipated to reopen Sunday afternoon.