Leak leaves Chariho Plaza businesses without water

The Arcadia Branch of the Ocean Community YMCA in Richmond and several businesses were affected by a water problem at the Chariho Plaza on Route 138 on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

RICHMOND — Businesses in the Chariho Plaza at 1190 Main St. (Route 138) were without water for much of Wednesday, and the Arcadia branch of the Ocean Community YMCA had to close until the water service was restored. The cause of the problem was believed to be a leak in the plaza’s plumbing.

Richmond Town Administrator Karen Pinch said she began receiving calls from residents and affected businesses Wednesday morning.

“The problem is not on the town line, it’s actually on their own infrastructure in the plaza,” she said. “I believe they all are without water, because I’ve had calls from the post office and from Subway.”

Eric LaFramboise of LaFramboise Water Service, the company that manages Richmond’s municipal water service, went to Chariho Plaza to determine where the problem was occurring.

“He went there just to do his due diligence and make sure that it wasn’t a problem on our end,” Pinch said.

Reached on Wednesday afternoon after he had visited the site, LaFramboise said a leak in the plaza’s plumbing had caused the problem.

“There’s a leak in their master meter pit and they’re in the process of pumping it out now,” LaFramboise said. “There’s a plumber already on site and they’re going to repair it as soon as the pit is empty. That’s where the water comes in from the street and connects to the distribution system for the plaza itself. It’s a good-sized leak.”

LaFramboise was not involved in the repair work, so he could not say how long it would take to restore the water service, but he indicated that it should not take more than a day or two. As it turned out, the water was restored by late afternoon. 

 

“We have not actually seen what’s broken yet,” he said. “It may be something more significant, but I’m not sure. We went as a courtesy because we got a couple of calls saying the Subway and the post office didn’t have water. So we came over here to at least check to see what’s going on, because usually at times like that, there’s a leak or maybe a main break or something. We came up to see what it was and I walked around with the property manager and we were able to figure out that the source of no water was coming from their pit.”

Other plaza tenants are Ace Hardware and a Family Dollar store.

The company that manages the plaza, Capstone Properties, headquartered in Burlington, Mass., did not respond to a request for comment.

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