Penn American Water Says It's A 24-Inch Line That Broke, Issues Precautionary Boil Water Advisory

CARRICK (KDKA) — A major water main break in Carrick has shut down several road and closed schools and businesses across the South Hills Friday morning.

What looked like raging rapids gushed down streets for hours, impacting roads, homes, businesses, schools and more. The water was finally shut off around 11:30 a.m., six-and-a-half hours after it began to gush. It happened on Agnew Avenue and Becks Run Road.

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Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich estimates the hole left behind from the water main break to be about 25 feet deep. The damage is extensive and the road will be closed indefinitely.

Officials said the valve needed to shut off the water was under the rushing water.

“We had to back up quite a few valves in order to create a safe work environment to do a shutoff,” said Gary Lobaugh from Pennsylvania American Water

The approved detour route for Beck Run is Carson Street to Glass Run Road to Churchview Avenue to Brownsville Road and back to Becks Run.

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Penn American Water has released the following statement to its customers that includes details of a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory:

“Pennsylvania American Water crews are working to restore service to affected areas as quickly as possible following a water main break this morning that is causing low pressure and water outages in your area. We currently do not have a timeline for restoration, but we will contact you again with an update when more information is available.

“In the meantime, the company has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for customers in your area due to low system pressure and low system storage. When service is restored, water should be boiled for a minimum of one minute before consumption and food preparation until further notice.”

According to Allegheny County’s Twitter feed, crews isolated the break and restoration is underway. Penn American Water is hoping to have service restored for all customers by this evening. That estimate could change given the changing circumstances.

Then, the Boil Water Advisory will be in place for at least 48 hours following the final restorations.

WATCH: KDKA’s Jon Delano has tips on how to handle the water boil advisory.

These municipalities are under the advisory:

  • Baldwin Borough
  • Baldwin Township
  • Bethel Park
  • Brentwood
  • Bridgeville
  • Carnegie
  • Castle Shannon
  • Clariton
  • Collier
  • City of Pittsburgh
  • Crafton
  • Dormont
  • Dravosburg
  • Greentree
  • Heidelberg
  • Homestead
  • Ingram
  • Jefferson Borough
  • Mount Lebanon
  • Mount Oliver
  • Munhall
  • North Fayette
  • Oakdale
  • Upper Saint Clair
  • Pennsbury
  • Pleasant Hills
  • Rosslyn Farms
  • Scott Township
  • South Fayette
  • South Park
  • Thornburg
  • West Allegheny County Muncipal Authority
  • West Homestead
  • West Mifflin
  • Whitaker
  • Whitehall

(Source: Penn American Water)

Penn American Water is also setting up water buffaloes in several locations for all those impacted. They will be set up by 3 p.m. and customers will need to bring their own containers.

    • Baldwin Borough Municipal Building:3344 Churchview Ave., Baldwin, PA
    • Bethel Park Community Center: 5213 Brightwood Rd, Bethel Park, PA 15102
    • Bethel Park Fire Department: 1100 Clifton Rd, Bethel Park, PA 15102
    • Brentwood Fire Department: Brownsville Road at Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Brookline Recreation Center: 1400 Oakridge St, Pittsburgh, PA 15226
    • Castle Shannon Fire Department: 3600 Library Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15234
    • Dormont Fire Department: 1455 Hillsdale Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216
    • Fire Station 23: 1703 Brownsville Rd., Carrick, PA
    • Greentree Fire Department: 825 Poplar St, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
    • Heidelberg Fire Department: 456 1st St, Carnegie, PA 15106
    • Ingram Municipal Building: 40 W Prospect Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15205
    • Mount Oliver Fire Department: 120 Brownsville Rd., Pittsburgh
    • Munhall Municipal Building: 1900 West St., Homestead
    • South Fayette Municipal Building: 515 Millers Run Rd, Morgan, PA 15064
    • Upper St. Clair Municipal Building: 1820 McLaughlin Run Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15241
    • West Mifflin Municipal Building: 1020 Lebanon Rd., West Mifflin, PA

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

For more information, visit this link.

Over at St. Clair Hospital and its Outpatient Center in Bethel Park, they are also experiencing low water pressure. However, officials say the hospital maintains a secondary water supply and all operations are continuing as normal.

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While Penn American Water services the line, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority says they are offering “support via our interconnection with their system to help restore service to our neighbors in the south.”


The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department is telling residents to avoid the area near 400 block of Agnew Avenue and Becks Run Road. They say it is a 24-inch main that broke.

Public Saftey Director Wendell Hissrich hasn’t seen this kind of damage from a water main break in his time in the city.

“What I heard on a scale of 1-10, this was definitely a six or a seven,” Hissrich said.

East Agnew Avenue is shut down at Dowling Street to Becks Run Road, and Becks Run Road is closed between Brownsville Road and East Carson Street.

Glass Run Road and Redrose Avenue are also impacted.

Pennsylvania American Water said approximately 30 customers are without service in the East Agnew area. Service is expected to return Saturday afternoon.

WATCH: Amy Wadas reports live from Carrick.

Pittsburgh Police, firefighters and EMS have had to rescue several people and pets from homes surrounded by the high water. Public Safety officials say all residents and pets are accounted.

They have also cut power to the area for safety reasons.

For that, Duquesne Light crews are on the scene.

A company spokesperson issued this statement about the situation: “Duquesne Light is aware of and actively responding to the water main break in Carrick. As a safety precaution, crews have proactively turned the power off to 27 customers affected by the incident. Once Penn American Water isolates the issue, Duquesne Light crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to repair poles damaged by the incident and restore power to all affected customers.”

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

Several schools have also had to shut down due to water problems, including Keystone Oaks School District and St. Bernard’s in Mount Lebanon.

The Red Cross is also on the scene, helping the residents impacted and evacuated.

Officials said 10 homes were impacted and three homes received heavy damage and are not sure if they can be saved.

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Pennsylvania American Water has collected several water samples and said the results will be available tomorrow evening. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, two consecutive days of clean tests must occur for the boil advisory to be lifted.