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Small water main damaged during repairs

A 10-inch water main broke Tuesday during repairs to the two-block stretch of Light Street downtown that has been closed to traffic since a larger pipe erupted there July 16.

"The location of this main was really a surprise to everyone," said Kurt Kocher, spokesman for Baltimore's Department of Public Works. "Water just started shooting out."

The main was only one-foot below the road surface, when it was struck by a front-end loader. Pipes are usually three feet underground, he said.

"This was not an age-of-pipe issue but a location issue," he said.

Crews expected to replace the broken section within a few hours and repaving would continue on schedule, Kocher said. Work is expected to be completed by Monday and Light Street will reopen then.

Water was shut off to a few businesses, including a CVS store, on Light Street for a few hours, until the new pipe was installed. Staff at the pharmacy said they were aware they had no water but were able to stay open.

Public Works dealt with another potential water crisis Tuesday that left about 300 residents on the East North Avenue corridor between Belair Road and Aisquith Street without water. Crews spent the day repairing a broken valve in an effort to prevent another large main failure. Bottled water is available for those homes affected by the shut-off at: Oliver Recreation Center, 1400 E Federal St., Lanvale Towers, 1300 E. Lanvale St., Belair Road and North Avenue and 1401 E. Oliver St.

Residents must have a state-issued I.D. or a water bill to pick up water. For information on the East North Avenue valve repairs, call 410-545-6541.

Mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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