Repairs Underway on Busted Frankford Water Main

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Monday, Dec 30, 2013  |  Updated 2:54 PM EDT
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    The Philadelphia Water Department has begun the process of replacing a large water main that broke in Frankford last week, resulting in major flooding and a widespread water outage across parts of the city.

    The 48-inch water main, located 20 feet under the intersection of Frankford and Torresdale Avenues, broke open just before 9 a.m. last Monday.

    The busted 106-year-old cast iron pipe sent more than 20 million gallons of water gushing up to the streets -- flooding a daycare center filled with children and affecting out water service in at least eight different city zip codes. A transmission line, the delivered water from a 60-inch line to a smaller 12-inch water pipes that service homes and businesses.

    Water department spokeswoman Laura Copeland said crews began repair work on Saturday, but that heavy rain hampered efforts on Sunday. They were back out at the site on Monday.  Verizon, which also has lines at the site, is doing repair work as well.

    Officials have said the full repair could take months.

    The old pipe is being replaced with a new, ductile iron line, Copeland says. Ductile iron pipe is a newer, more refined type of pipe that is stronger and more durable, according to the industry group the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association. The pipe is forged differently and alters the graphite inside, which increases strength, the association says.

    Traffic remains closed in the area due to the work, Copeland says. However, no water service is affected.


    Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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