PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A catastrophic water main break in Carrick occurred Friday when a 24-inch main broke, sending thousands of gallons of water gushing down East Agnew Avenue.
The rushing water forced first responders to rescue two people, their cats and caused several homes to be condemned.
“I told my wife, I’ve lived in Pittsburgh all my life, never saw a water break that bad, ever,” said Dave Morton, a Pennsylvania American Water customer.
The break interrupted water service in nearly 40 neighborhoods in the South Hills area and throughout the day, those customers have been making a run on free cases of water at the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Station on Brownsville Road.
“After these are all gone, probably 70,000 bottles of water completely, factoring in the water buffalo as well,” said Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department Lieutenant Steve Mattolla.
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The good news is the broken main has been repaired but some customers are still under a boil advisory. Mt. Lebanon restaurant owner Jeff Iovino has been dealing with the advisory.
“All the beverages are coming out of a can or bottle,” he said. “Some beer and wine have been fine, but some of the menu items had to just say, limit them.”
Under the advisory, boiled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and food preparation. Customers can shower, but it is recommended that water should not get in your mouth.
The water company has conducted two tests so far and the results are unknown. The Pennsylvania DEP requires two consecutive days of clean tests before the advisory can be lifted.
Meanwhile, some customers worry about more catastrophic breaks because of the aging condition of so many pipes
“We had a break up the street a couple years ago, my basement got flooded, it was just a mess,” said Morton. “Because they’re just old, they’re outdated.”
There’s a chance the boil advisory could be lifted tomorrow but in the meantime, part of East Agnew Avenue and Becks Run Road remain closed for repairs. There is no word on when they will reopen.