The Fountain Hill water system was temporarily disabled this week after what has been characterized as a major leak disrupted the system.

When the leak was first detected Monday evening, the system was connected to the Hamburg Rural Water system to allow Fountain Hill residents to maintain water service.

Hamburg Director of Public Works Jimmy Hargis said the two cities already had an existing link that allowed them to share water.

“We have a health department-approved connection with them,” Hargis said. “Basically we have to open a valve and they have a connection…I am supplying them with water right now and they are looking for their leak.”

Hargis said he did not know how long the arrangement would be in place because that would depend on how long it took to find and repair the leak.

“With rural systems, the lines are not in the roads, the leaks are out in the woods,” he said. “I have had a tree branch fall through them, one that got struck by lightning; you never know what to expect.”

The public works director said he could not speak to the overall operation in the Fountain Hill system after it was tied into the Hamburg Rural Water, but that with its connection to HRW it is working.

“I don’t know what their pressure is right now, but it is better than none,” he said.

Hargis said the mutual aid will not affect service to Hamburg or rural customers.

Fountain Hill Water and Wastewater Manager Harold Pruitt could not be reached for comment about the matter Tuesday.