PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A massive water main break sent water spewing over a hillside Tuesday afternoon in the city’s Observatory Hill section.
The break happened in an area just off Dalton Avenue. It started as a small leak, then turned into a high-pressure geyser, sending water into the air and over the hill, onto Oakdale Street below.
It’s believed the problem was caused by a rupture in the side of an eight-inch line.
A neighbor left her home for a couple of hours for a doctor’s appointment. She said when she left, she heard a little water running near her parked car.
“We saw this gusher, and we just couldn’t believe it. It was like the small one that it was when we left, to this. It was like, ‘Oh my God, why can’t this be oil?’ No, it’s got to be water,” said neighbor Valerie Ash.
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority finally shut off the water just before 6 p.m., and it was discovered the break created a four-foot sinkhole in the earth.
The good news is, no basements were reported flooded.
At least one neighbor on the street below the break said she was initially confused about what really happened. She was under the impression that the spray from the shooting water was really smoke.
“I thought the woods were on fire. We couldn’t see no water at first, all we saw was smoke,” said neighbor Judy Brown.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti: “You thought it was smoke?”
Brown: “Yeah, it was really water. I mean it was shooting up really high.”
A few people who live on Dalton Avenue told KDKA that they don’t have any water service, but PWSA said they would provide bottled water to those homes.
Repairs are expected to being on Wednesday morning.