Work crews from Baltimore City and Baltimore County labored last night in eastern Baltimore County to repair breaks in a 12-inch water main and a sewer line several feet under it.
Heavy traffic was detoured from the site, at Hazelwood Avenue and Daybreak Terrace, as water gushed from the break.
Kurt L. Kocher, a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works, said the water main would be repaired first and that water could be restored by this morning. "We're hoping for that before the sewage line is repaired," he said.
Kocher said the break, which was reported at 3:30 p.m., sent large amounts of water onto roads and private property. A drop in water pressure and the eventual shutoff affected about 30 homes, some businesses and at least one school, McCormick Elementary in the 3600 block of Hazelwood Ave.
"It's a 12-inch water main that broke for an unknown reason, and several feet under that a sewage line also broke," Kocher said.
He said several other breaks have occurred over the years at or near yesterday's site.
Kocher could not say whether the breaks occurred as a result of milder weather causing shifting of the ground, a common occurrence as warm weather approaches.
He said that since the sewer line is several feet - perhaps as many as 30 feet - under the water line, there was no reason to fear that sewage would enter water lines.
Once the line is repaired, residents might see cloudy water at first but it will quickly clear up, he said.