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1 water leak becomes 2 as Japay repairs aging pipes beneath Calle 64

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Two major water-main leaks beneath Calle 64, between 59 and 57 in Merida’s Centro Historico, were repaired by Japay. Photo: Courtesy

Merida, Yucatan — Utility workers set out to repair a broken 60-year-old, 36-inch water main under Calle 64 near 59 in the Centro, but quickly found a second pipe that also needed to be sealed.

The second leak was coming from a 4-inch pipe that was exposed by Japay, the water utility, when the street was torn up.

Japay Director Sergio Augusto Chan Lugo said the repairs stopped the waste of almost 1.8 million liters of water a day.

On May 14 and 22, two leaks were repaired one block south on the same water main, which connects to the Merida I plant.

Japay’s permanent leak-detection program has found yet another broken artery a few meters away whose repair was planned for today.

Staff use a geophone to monitor the larger pipe, which is described as the backbone of the Merida I plant’s connection to the Centro.

This leak, added the official, was several years old, as evidenced by a rocky formation, known as “coracal,” which eventually appears around a busted pipe.

The water main was patched with 3-meter-wide rubber seals around its joints.

Last year, Japay fixed 28,785 leaks, an average of 79 every day, which the utility said is a record.

In the first quarter of 2020 alone, 4,884 leaks of different sizes, both visible and hidden, have been repaired.

For this project, 20 workers plus engineers worked 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Thursday while police directed traffic. The job was supervised to avoid damage to infrastructure, power lines or telephones wires.

Source: Press release

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