Damage from water main break could total months of repairs

Some surrounding businesses are still without water.

Tim Jimenez
July 04, 2018 - 9:17 am
water main break damage

Tim Jimenez | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Several businesses are still without water as the work continues on this Fourth of July holiday at the site of Tuesday's water main break in Center City. 

The massive hole at Sansom and Juniper streets seems to have doubled in size in a day.

The cause of the water main break — in which a 48-inch water main broke and up to 15 million gallons of water spewed into the streets — is still unknown. Crews have plenty of work to do ahead. 

MORE: Center City water main break leaves behind a muddy mess

Water Department Commissioner Debra McCarty said it could take months for this section of Center City to get back to normal again. Whether it happened here or out in a neighborhood, McCarty said they take these breaks seriously because of the people affected.

"Every break of this magnitude is devastating to those folks that experience the break," she said.

McCarty noted the broken pipe is around 91 years old. 

"Disturbance of large mains, whether today or 50 years ago, can have an impact on the resiliency of that pipe," she said. "But that's all part of the investigation."

In addition to the main break, a separate 8-inch water main also failed, complicating the issue further. Officials said about 10 properties, mostly businesses, have no water.

For any customers with questions or concerns, they can speak with Philadelphia Water Department officials on Thursday, where officials will have an information tent set up at 13th and Sansom streets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.