A large water valve break resulted in West Virginia American Water asking about 4,400 customers in the company's Oak Hill service area to conserve water Sunday night into Monday.

The customers were asked to limit all non-essential water use, but that request expired Monday morning after overnight repairs fixed the broken water valve at the company's New River Treatment Plant. The valve was damaged as the result of a water hammer when high winds in the region Sunday led to a temporary power outage at the treatment plant.

According to Megan Hannah, WVAW's external affairs manager, the conservation notice kept water in the storage tanks, which allowed customers to retain service. No boil water advisory was issued because no customers lost water or pressure, she said.

"We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate the patience of our customers while our teams worked around the clock to make necessary, emergency repairs," read an alert update on www.westvirginiaamwater.com.

A water hammer occurs when water is flowing in one direction and abruptly stops, Hannah explained. "Because water is extremely heavy and holds a great deal of pressure per square inch, this abrupt stop can cause major water main or valve breaks."

The valve is attached to the main line supplying raw water into the treatment plant. The valve break presented no threat to the public and wasn't cause for alarm to those in the immediate area of the water treatment plant, according to a WVAW press release.

The water main valve that was impacted was installed just a couple of months ago, but "when a water hammer occurs, even the newest pieces of equipment can become damaged," said Hannah, who added that WVAW had no other facilities impacted by the power outage.

An emergency water tanker was in place until noon on Nov. 16 at C. Adam Toney Tires for customers who needed water, even though a boil water advisory wasn't issued.

An additional water tanker was deployed to Plateau Medical Center to allow the facility to continue all operations, WVAW said.

Page-Kincaid PSD officials also had emergency water supply on hand to help those who were impacted, they announced.

WVAW worked closely with local emergency management on potential impacts to fire protection, the press release noted.

Customers may call the WVAW customer service center at 1-800-685-8660 for more information.

Email: skeenan@register-herald.com or follow on Twitter @gb_scribe

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