HAWTHORN – Nearly two weeks after a major line break left most of its customers without water for more than 24 hours, Hawthorn-Redbank-Redbank Municipal Authority (HRRMA) officials said Monday that everything is now operating as normal.

“We are back in operation and everything is operating as it should be,” HRRMA chairman Dave Thomas said of the water system, which was affected by a large bell leak in the new main water line coming from the Red Bank Creek in the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 19.

Crews were unable to determine the location of the leak until early Monday morning, leaving most customers without water until later that evening when work to repair the line was complete.

Thomas noted that the section of line that sprung the leak has been completely repaired with new piping.

“It’s all taken care of,” he said.

To help replenish the water in the storage tank that was lost as a result of the leak, HRRMA used an interconnect to pump water to Hawthorn from the Redbank Valley Municipal Authority water plant in New Bethlehem, which Thomas said was able to be completely turned off last Wednesday.

“Most of the tank was filled up the Sunday after the leak occurred,” he noted.

As a result of the leak, all HRRMA customers — which include residents in Hawthorn, Oak Ridge, Sherman Heights and Fairmount City — were under a boil water advisory from the time water service was restored on Monday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Dec. 1.

According to Thomas, the state required HRRMA to provide water samples from two consecutive days of testing before the advisory could be lifted, a simple task made more challenging with the Thanksgiving holiday and the start of buck season.

“A lot of the labs were closed because of the holidays,” Thomas said, explaining the delay in testing the water samples.

Thomas also noted on Monday that all of the new water lines in Hawthorn and Redbank Township (Clarion County) are in the ground and are just waiting to be hooked up.

“All of the old lines should be dead after that,” he said.

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