CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two million gallons of water rushed from a South Charleston water tank into the Kanawha River Friday afternoon after a coal company drilling in the waters struck a 20-inch river crossing line owned by West Virginia American Water.
A barge operator for Amherst Madison was replacing a pylon, an upright structure used for support or navigation, when he accidentally drilled into the river crossing line, said Laura Jordan, spokeswoman for the water company.
Amherst Madison owns a barge near the location where the rupture took place, she said.
"They tried to go off the signage that shows where the river crossing is located and they didn't call our company to come out [to help]," Jordan said, "but we were able to shut down the river crossing line so that it didn't affect a lot of the South Charleston population."
The water company issued a boil-water advisory for a few businesses along MacCorkle Avenue that will stay in effect throughout the weekend.
Jordan said the South Charleston sewage treatment plant, as well as SportMart and other businesses in the shopping plaza along the Kanawha River, lost their water supply because of the break.
Charleston Marina -- which also had a boil-water advisory issued -- still had running water Friday afternoon, Jordan said.
Firefighters from the South Charleston Fire Department installed a temporary feed from a fire hydrant to supply water to those businesses affected, she said.
"Because we did issue a boil-water advisory earlier, it will remain in effect for those customers until the main line is repaired. This is just a temporary solution so they can stay in business over the weekend," Jordan said.