PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A four-foot water main, more than 100 years old, ruptured Wednesday morning in Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighborhood. The break sent thousands of gallons of water to the area of 56th Street and Springfield Avenue. But the good news is that water service has been restored to the residents in the area.
The water has also stopped flowing, but what’s been left behind is the muddy sludge.
The main was one of the largest in the city and it’s also one of the oldest. It was installed back in 1921, making it over 100 years old.
The average age of the city’s water mains is 76 years old.
Eyewitness News spoke with the spokesman for the Philadelphia Water Department about why they haven’t replaced its aging water infrastructure.
“You want to get as much out of a water main as you can and we have an aggressive replacement strategy,” Brian Rademaekers, of the Philadelphia Water Department, said. “Philadelphia actually has a lower main break average than most cities. Across the city, we have about 25 breaks per 100 miles, and we have an aggressive replacement strategy. So we replace them as quickly as we can when we need to.”
As is the case with many of these breaks, other underground pipes can also be disrupted.
The gas company is on the scene in Kingsessing because neighbors were reporting a strong gas smell.
The water department also has a fund set up for when mains break to help residents.
If you have water in your basement that needs to be pumped out or need help recovering, you can check with the water department staffers going door-to-door, or by clicking here.