PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Almost eight months after a Philadelphia neighborhood was inundated by a massive water main break the repairs are finally finished. That’s one of several major water main breaks in the city.
Now work is finally underway to repair another break in Queen Village. The Water Department says the break at 6th and Bainbridge Streets could take another six months to repair.READ MORE: Police: Man, 2 Children Injured In Crash In Willingboro
The Water Department admits its infrastructure is aging. But they also say all they can do is repair the work as fast as possible after it breaks.
“The gush where it broke was like the most amazing thing. You see it on TV,” said Sharon Bruce, owner of Mostly Books.
Only they were living it in real life. The break happened at about 12:30 in the morning on July 25, sending torrents of water gushing down Queen Village streets.
“Oh my God, it was so weird. It was like a canal,” Bruce said.
Mostly Books is half a block from where the 30-inch main broke at 6th and Bainbridge. Bruce’s shop didn’t have any damage, but she says the shop is losing business now because streets are closed and people can’t get there.
The owners of BFA Towing and Recovery also lost business when a main broke near their shop.
“It was stressful but we made it through it, made it work and went from there,” BFA owner Marquis Jones said.READ MORE: Big Decision Looming For SEPTA Employees As Union Fights For Better Wages For Its Workers
The shop is on Hunting Park Avenue between 29th and West Westmoreland Streets in Nicetown. The street just reopened Wednesday after a 48-inch main broke back in February.
“The auto repair side was closed, the towing was still opened, but the auto repair side and the tires was closed and that plays a big part in our business,” Jones said.
The Water Department says the city has 3,200 miles of water pipes underground. The average age of the mains is 76 years old.
The main in Queen Village was 130 years old.
The city hired Pio Construction to make the repairs. Not only does the main need to be fixed, but other underground pipes, sewers, the street, sidewalks, and other utilities also need to be repaired.
The city says it is not uncommon to wait for a break before a main is replaced.
“It’s very disruptive tearing up a neighborhood to make that kind of replacement, as disruptive as a break is, so is tearing up water mains and streets,” Philadelphia Water Department spokesperson Brian Rademaekers said
Construction in Queen Village is set to be complete in the springtime.MORE NEWS: Flames Put Out After Tearing Through Mount Laurel Home
The Water Department says what you can do to prevent a break is to pay your water bill. The department isn’t funded by tax dollars so the only way maintenance can happen is if you pay your water bill.