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Anna Maria Island residents asked to curtail water usage as water main repairs continue

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MANATEE COUNTY – Customers of Manatee County Utilities on Anna Maria Island are being asked to curtail water usage where they can as crews continue to investigate and work to repair a section of water main that has collapsed.

Some 1,000 feet of a 16-inch ductile iron pipe now sits on the bottom of the Anna Maria Sound after falling from a series of hangars that held the water main under the Manatee Avenue Bridge. The County was alerted to a potential problem with some of the hangars on Friday (June 16), but by the time a repair crew was in place on Monday (June 19), the water main had fallen.

“This was a supplemental line,” said Manatee County Commission Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge, who pointed out that a 24-inch main located under the Cortez Bridge is functioning as designed, maintaining about 80% water pressure to the island. “Quick response from our County crews helped preserve that service.”

Nearly 4,200 residents were notified of the service interruption initially through a reverse 9-1-1 call Monday. County leaders called an impromptu news conference Tuesday to offer an update on the repair.

At this time, a local repair contractor has been engaged, and engineers are researching the best way to complete repairs.

“The repair time is being estimated in weeks,” said Mantee County Utilities Director Evan Pilachowski.