How long will it take to repair Center City water main break?

Water main break in Philly, Center City

The Center City water main break that unleashed 15 million gallons of water on city streets Tuesday may continue to impact Philaelphians for months to come.

A Philadelphia Water Department spokesman said Thursday that the intersection of Sansom and Juniper Streets will continue to be closed while city workers tackle the project, which could take “several months,” reported.

Crews worked through Wednesday to get the muddy Center City streets cleaned up after the flooding, but Spokesman John DiGiulio warned that a sinkhole that opened up as a results of the 48-inch water main break “will get bigger.” 

Crews were hoping to get 13th Street from Walnut to Chestnut open to traffic by Thursday, NBC 10 reported. The water department said public relations and customer service reps would be deployed at 13th and Sansom streets Thursday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Why did the Center City water main break? 

It’s not clear what caused the July 3 water main break, but the water main will be removed and tested. There is also no word on how much the break will end up costing, but a similar 2012 water main break resulted in $1.7 million in claims.

The transmission water main broke around 4 a.m. near Sansom and Juniper streets Tuesday, flooding sidewalks and roads with roughly six inches of water. City workers struggled for hours to get the broken water main under control. They managed to shut it down just before 8 a.m., but the area was impacted throughout the day. The break caused multiple SEPTA bus detours and residual traffic in the area. 

The city's extreme heat may have been to blame for the water main break, according to water department spokesman John DiGiulio, who told ABC 6 that it's likely customers were using more water than usual which can put stress on the main.