Boil order in place after Worcester water main break
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- The water is back on in Worcester and a boil order remains in place after a water main break sent water gushing into city streets and knocked out service to thousands.
Schools in the city were delayed for two hours on Tuesday. Worcester State University canceled Tuesday's classes because of flooding on campus.
In order to repair the water main, workers had to isolate it by turning off the valves at either end. When the valves didn’t work, the city of Worcester had to shut off the entire water system.
But, the reason why the water main broke is still a mystery.
"That's the question that no one has the answer for,” said Bob Moylan, Department of Public Works.
Old age might factor into the break -- the 30-inch diameter cast iron water main was installed in 1932.
"It served well. Why it decided to fracture today is the question no one has the answer for,” said Moylan.
The broken main sent a flood of frustration through the community and put the town’s drinking water in danger. The water was turned back on Tuesday.
“The pressure was very low for half the day,” said Heidi Frank, who is glad the water is back on.
Even though the water started flowing and the pressure is returning, residents are being told to boil their water.
“Frustrating, but yet also prepares you for things you don’t expect. It’s life. It’s unfortunate that this happens and you just have to be prepared,” said Frank.
Frank used bottled water she had stocked up for Hurricane Sandy to take care of her three dogs and two cats.
“This morning when I did start the water it was very brown, very rusty,” said Frank.
The water main is directly in front of the Worcester State University campus. When the main broke, it flooded the streets and parts of the campus.
"It was flooded up here. It just came up over the banks and out into the street. You can see what it's done to the street alone,” said Bob Crompton, a resident without water.
Worcester State University was forced to call off classes for Tuesday.
"When you are on campus with this type of flooding, the sensible thing to do is shut off the power, which we did at about 3:30 and you can't really run a campus when the power is off,” said Lee Ann Scales, Worcester State University.
The repairs were done much earlier than planned.
“It’s absolutely is incredible this is done about four hours quicker than I would have thought it would have been done it,” said one official.
Worcester State University will be closed Wednesday due to the break.