Officials tour site of South Phila. water main break

July 30, 2012 2:51:35 PM PDT
Philadelphia city officials toured the site of last week's massive water main break in South Philadelphia on Monday.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug were in the area of 21st and Bainbridge, where the roads are still ripped up.

"First and foremost we want to get a timeframe on when this is going to be fixed and, two, how can we prevent this, in the future, from happening?" Johnson said.

A four foot main erupted last Sunday, which also took out power and gas.

In the Milner houshold, they've ripped out carpet and drywall on the first floor and the ruined contents of their basement have been cleared. The city has replaced their water heater and furnance, but the family worries about reimubursement for the rest.

"We're worried we're not going ot get paid," said Kim Milner. "Right now we're putting things on our credit card and then billing the water department."

While Neukrug confirms there is a $500,000 damage cap they can pay out per incident, he says he doesn't believe they will exceed that amount when all the damage is tallied up.

Neukrug explains they don't wait for pipes to burst. They have an inspection processes in place, including a leak detection program, surveying the entire system over a three year period.

"As infrastructure gets older it does not get stronger. We have to continually renew, replace, manage, maintain," Neukrug said.

This comes after an 8-inch water main broke, this time at Willits Road near Ashton in Northeast Philadelphia. At least two homes and two businesses were damaged.


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