By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)Amid a steady flow of broken water main requests, the Philadelphia Water Department is temporarily turning to social media to take costumer service requests.

In the first 15 days of January, the Philadelphia Water Department has had 176 water main breaks, and is still working on 170 outstanding leak investigations.

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“Water emergencies either leaks in the street, or customer service lines that are broken, or vacant broken pipes, and the call wait time could be hours,” said John DiGiulio, spokesperson for the Philadelphia Water Department. “Unfortunately we reached a point in the call system where some calls were in the queue for so long that they sort of got lost and no one was even getting a call back.

“We opened up our social media to allow customers to begin communicating with us this way temporarily, at least until the phone systems are caught up with a wait time that is acceptable.”

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Customers looking to report issues and avoid wait times at the call center, need simply to follow the water department on Facebook and Twitter and send a direct message.

“If they find us on Facebook at Philadelphia Water Department, or on Twitter @PhillyH2O, then they can report their problem to us,” DiGiulio explained.

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These pages will be actively monitored between 9 A.M. and midnight, seven days a week, until further notice.