12-inch water main breaks in Roxborough

ROXBOROUGH - August 9, 2012

Water Department employees worked throughout the day on Thursday to make repairs, saying full water service should be back by 6:00 p.m.

Resident Jimmy Durken tells Action News, "I woke up this morning and went to go wash my hands and the water was just not there. It was really low."

For Durken and hundreds of other residents of the Roxborough neighborhoods, it was a rough day with a lack of the normal creature comforts. The 12-inch water main break, which surfaced in the pre-dawn hours at Manayunk and Ridge, made life miserable for a lot of residents.

"What am I going to do? Can't take a shower, can't go to the bathroom, can't flush the toilet, can't do nothing," said Roxborough Frank Garonski.

"Well at first I thought maybe we didn't pay the bills," joked Maria Gritz. "But we realized, obviously, once we looked out the window that the water obviously was off. And I got to take a shower. It wasn't the best quality. But I couldn't brush my teeth. I'm going to have to brush my teeth at work, which is going to make me late for work."

This is the fifth major water main break of the summer, meaning 12-inch water mains and larger. Some perceptions are that this summer has been worse than normal, but Water Department officials claim that is not true.

"The city maintains over 3,100 miles of water mains and over 3,100 miles of sewer mains," said John Digiulio of the Philadelphia Water Dept. He added that the department inspects 1,000 miles of mains per year.

They say there are several water main breaks in Philadelphia each day - up to 800 on average each year distributed evenly over the cold and warm periods.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.