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Water service returned to South, Southeast Baltimore customers after main break

Water returned by late Tuesday morning to thousands of households and businesses in South and Southeast Baltimore after a water main break disrupted that service Monday night, according to the Department of Public Works.

The problems began about 8:30 p.m. Monday, when some residents saw diminishing water pressure and others lost water altogether as the main break nearly drained a water tank in Curtis Bay, said Kurt Kocher, a department spokesman.

If customers remain without water, they should call 311 and report the problem, Kocher said. Some residents also may continue to experience brown or cloudy water, he said, and should remove aerators from their faucets to allow any trapped sediment to wash out.

Officials determined that an 80-year-old, 36-inch water main ruptured in the 4300 block of Holabird Ave., Kocher said. Much of the city's water infrastructure is more than 100 years old.

By 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, pressure was returning at MedStar Harbor Hospital, John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and in many affected homes, Kocher said.

Repairs to the damaged main were continuing Tuesday, and Kocher said he did not have an estimated time for completion.

"We've got to dig up the broken main, we've got to replace the broken main, we have to recharge the broken main, and then we'll have everything back to 100 percent," he said.

On Wednesday, the city's Board of Estimates is slated to approve spending $6.2 million to hire a contractor for water meter and water-main replacements in the Patterson Park area.

The Public Works Department expects to spend about $300 million on its aging water infrastructure in the next five years, and major repairs to old, vulnerable pipes are expected to be a large part of that process.

Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.

krector@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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