Water main break forces state to close health department

August 10, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A water main break forced the closing yesterday of the headquarters of the state's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, state officials said.

Workers discovered the 10-inch cracked main about 7 a.m. and sent home all nonessential employees about 9:15 a.m. Almost 2,000 state employees work in the Herbert R. O'Conor Building at 201 W. Preston St., said Dave Humphrey, a spokesman for the Department of General Services.

By late yesterday afternoon, workers had made two attempts to fix the 30-year-old water main with stainless steel clamp couplings. But when water pressure was restored to the main, they discovered that they had failed to stop the leak.

Workers repaired the leak late last night, and Humphrey said the building will be open for normal business hours today.

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