A water main break that caused widespread service outages in Westminster on Wednesday night was repaired by around midnight.
What was deemed by the city as a “major” water main break on Manchester Road between the utility maintenance shop and the water plant on Lucabaugh Mill Road caused the city water plant to be shut down.
Department of Public Works crews identified the issue, made repairs and got the water plant operating again before 11 p.m. The city noted that while water pressure was returning at the time, it could be lower than normal and asked residents to conserve water.
By early Thursday morning, the city said on its Facebook page that repairs to the water main and road were complete and that normal resumed at approximately midnight. The city noted that if residents experience discolored water, they should run cold water only from a single faucet and not use hot water until the line clears, as discolored water may collect in the hot water tank.
Director of Public Works for Westminster Jeff Glass said that entire utility maintenance crew — about 10 people — were called out to the repair site, as well as himself and supervisors from the Streets Department.
Even after the water main repairs were 100% complete shortly after midnight, the crews then had to put a temporary patch over the road so it could be opened up again. He personally didn’t get home until about 4:30 a.m. The full road repair should be completed sometime next week, he estimated.
The city characterized the incident as a “major” water main break based on the size of the pipeline and the number of people it services. The one in question was a 12-inch line between two buildings near the water treatment plant.
“It’s a critical piece of pipe,” Glass said. “When that one breaks, we have to shut the plant down.”
While the water treatment plant was temporarily offline, the city’s stores and wells were the source of water.
The county was notified of the water main break Wednesday evening and activated its emergency operations center, according to Commissioner Ed Rothstein, R-District 5. The county did not have to assist Westminster, but was prepared to do so, he said.
At the Thursday morning Board of Commissioners meeting, Rothstein praised the Westminster staff and county employees for their actions.
“I’m very proud of our county team working with the Westminster team together," Rothstein said.
The county emergency operations center assembled employees from the departs of Public Safety, Public Works, and Communications, according to Rothstein.