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JEA water leak floods roads, yards in Lakeshore

Homeowners on Colonial Avenue, Jersey Street awoke to ankle-deep water

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A few people in a Lakeshore community off San Juan Avenue are worried about water damage to their homes after a ruptured JEA well gushed water for several hours Thursday morning.

JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce said the leak was caused by a failed mechanical joint in the well. JEA crews believe the joint failed while the well was running to fill the reservoir, Boyce said.

Normally, it takes the wells 40 minutes at a total flow of 4,126 gallons per minute to fill the reservoir(s) at the Lakeshore Water Treatment Plant with approximately 160,000 gallons, Boyce said. Based on the information from the utility's SCADA system, the leak spilled out roughly 500,000 gallons of water.

Around 8 a.m., water could be seen rushing out of one residen'ts backyard, down the driveway and into the street. About a fourth of an inch of water was left in the home's shed and the backyard flooded.

Judy Dorman said the home belongs to her son, and she noticed the water around 7 a.m. and it was like that for about two hours. She said she originally thought her pool pump busted, but she quickly realized it was the well behind the home.

She said she and other neighbors called JEA, but JEA officials said the utility wasn't originally notified -- saying that's why it took crews nearly two hours to arrive.

The well is off Appleton Avenue, which is behind the Dorman's home, so her backyard saw the majority of the flooding.

JEA crews responded to the area of Colonial Avenue and Jersey Street and turned off the water around 8:45 a.m. and left.

Other crews came back out later in the day to further assess the problem and figure out what caused the leak.

A burst JEA well flooded a Lakeshore neighborhood Thursday.
A burst JEA well flooded a Lakeshore neighborhood Thursday.

The water began to recede by 9:15 a.m.

Dorman said she's going to be checking the home all day to make sure she doesn't notice any leaks or damage.

"I'm worried about what it is going to do inside the house, because the laundry room is on this (side), and I'm worried about what it is going to do there, if it's going to do anything electrical," Dorman said. "As soon as we opened the gate, everything came rushing out to the street, so it was a little traumatic."

Bruce McGee, who lives a couple houses down, said the water was running for way too long, and he said he's already emailed pictures to his city councilman, asking him to please look into the issue.

"They should have sensors on that pumping station, and evidently they're not working properly because they should've been out here within an hour," McGee said.

Boyce said the water is not sewage, pressure in the area is not affected and there is no boil water alert for the neighborhood.

If residents ends up having any damage, JEA officials said they can file a claim with the city.