Broken pipe disrupts water to 150 city homes

April 30, 2003|By Doug Donovan | Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF

A broken water pipe disrupted service yesterday for nearly 150 households in the Radnor-Winston neighborhood off York Road and Cold Spring Lane and threatened to keep the showers from running and the toilets from flushing into today.

City officials closed Cold Spring Lane between York Road and St. George's Avenue, a detour that was also expected to remain in effect today.

"When I woke up, I said, `Not again,'" said Marie Simms, who watched from her porch as neighbors filled buckets with water spewing from a fire hydrant on Midwood Avenue.

Charles R. Thomas said broken pipes have periodically disrupted water in the neighborhood since November.

"The water service is forever going off," said Thomas, 79. "Just as the service gets bad, they raise rates on you, too."

The city raised water and sewer rates by 9 percent last week.

Kurt Kocher, a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works, said the number of water main breaks has increased "extraordinarily" this fiscal year.

"Hopefully we'll have it fixed tonight," Kocher said yesterday of the latest break.

Residents were not so optimistic.

"They've been fixing these pipes piecemeal for months," said Gerald B. Griffin, 73, who has lived on Midwood Avenue since 1956. "Piecemeal doesn't work."

As city workers jack-hammered a gaping hole into the middle of Cold Spring Lane, residents gathered nearby to pick up gallons of free water from the city. Water poured out of a nearby pump and from open hydrants.

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