Water Tower Spill Causes Traffic Headache

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX)-  A water tower in Columbus overflowed overnight causing travel problems.

The tower, located off of Buena Vista Road and Higgs Drive and Parkhill Drive, overflowed shortly after midnight Tuesday.

The alarm didn't go off, according to James Patterson at The Columbus Water Works. The water ran over the tower for more than an hour while Columbus Water Works was filling the tanks --  a routine activity. Due to the water valve being frozen, the alarm did not sound when the tank reached full capacity and began to overflow.

A police officer discovered the roads were iced over and alerted the Public Water Works.

Patterson says they now know why the spillover didn't trigger the alarm, "A small water valve built up pressure it exerts that value and normally sends a signal through a tube which tells us to shut the water off. The heating system and protective gear we have on it wasn't enough to keep if from freezing."

The malfunction caught the city by surprise says Patterson, but their main concern is that this does not happen again. " That this not happen again. The line has never frozen before and it's not sufficient. So we are going to beef up our heating system," said Patterson.

Workers blocked off one lane on Buena Vista Road with barricades to ensure driver safety. The city worker's quick response, helped turn a potentially dangerous situation into smooth operation with no injuries.