PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A major water main break Sunday in the East End may have damage drinking water in eight Pittsburgh neighborhoods — and residents should boil their water before using it, according to the PWSA, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.
The water main break was reported around 7 a.m. and was predicted to go to the intersection of Centre and South Negley avenues around 10:30 a.m., said Will Pickering, communications manager at PWSA. It reaches up to 20-inch.
The break may have impacted water pressure and quality in these eight neighborhoods: Bloomfield, Central Lawrenceville, East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Highland Park, Morningside and Shadyside.
The boil advisory affects approximately 7,000 homes and is expected to last at least until Tuesday evening, Mr. Pickering said.
PWSA crews worked through the night to install two temporary valves, according to a press release Tuesday morning. Crews will work non-stop until the main is repaired, according to the agency. Centre Avenue between South Negley Avenue and South Euclid Avenue will remain closed to all traffic, including pedestrian traffic, until work is completed. There will be no water service in that area until repairs are complete.
PWSA said, “bottled water is being delivered to public and private schools, and water buffaloes will be made available for those who are unable to boil their water.” So far, water buffaloes have been placed at the following locations: Shursave IGA Super Market at 4401 Liberty Ave.; CVS at 4610 Centre Ave. at North Craig Street; and Fire Station 8 at 149 North Euclid Ave.
Residents should boil tap water actively for at least one minute prior to using the water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, washing raw foods or giving water to their pets.
“The major concern is that when the pressure drops there is an opportunity for bacteria to enter the void in the pipe, should there be a hole in the pipe,” Mr. Pickering said. “When there is high pressure, there is no opportunity for pathogens to enter the pipe.”
PWSA employees are testing the area’s to ensure it is safe, Mr. Pickering said, and so far, all the tested water has been decently disinfected. The earliest that testing could conclude would be Tuesday evening, he said.
Crews began to repair the water main break Sunday and will continue Monday, he said.
Some areas of Centre Avenue have no water, he said, including two large apartment buildings and several commercial facilities. PWSA has placed water tanks at the intersections of Centre and South Negley avenues, as well as at Centre and Euclid avenues, he said.
Anyone without running water can take water from those tanks.
PWSA will make additional efforts on Monday to bring potable water to various locations in the boil advisory area for anyone who is unable to boil their water, Mr. Pickering said.