Headaches as water main replacement steps up

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia crews are stepping up their efforts to fix water mains across the city.

The process may mean headaches for some, so the water department is asking everyone to be patient.

Work started on a $2.6 million project along Frankford Ave just last Monday.

This wasn't supposed to begin until summer, but after a series of water main breaks, including one just weeks ago, the decision was made to put it on a fast track.

The main was installed 157 years ago. In other words, before the Civial War.

The city is stepping up the pace of replacement, says John DiGiulio of the Philadelphia Water department is increasing the pace from once every 125 years to once every 100 years.

"We have increased that cycle to make it a 100 year cycle, so we were replacing approximately 20 miles of main per year, now increased that to 28 miles of main per year," he said.

But living with major construction is frustrating resident Ginny Schultz.

Among things she frets about includes truck traffic that goes around road closed barriers.

This is trash day and she says it was not picked up at its traditional time today. She was worried trash had not been picked up at its normal time.

"Recycling comes first and the trash men usually come right after that," she said. "The recycling was picked up but the trash was not picked up."

The water department says the contractor is working on the traffic problem. As for the trash pickup...

"I see no reason why trash would not be collected today, and if it isn't we'll address that as quickly as possible," said DiGiulio.

Down the street at JWW's tire shop, customers can't get there because of the work.

Owner Wayne Negron said they usually work on 30 to 40 cars a day, but only had two when we talked to him.

"Streets are blocked on both ends," he said. He was told it could go on for two months. The Water Dept. said it would have someone stop by and talk about the problem.
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