Parts en route for Balto. County water repairs

Restoration of service in northwest pledged by Thursday

March 10, 2010|By Brent Jones and Liz F. Kay | Baltimore Sun reporters

Public works officials pledged to have all water service restored in northwestern Baltimore County by Thursday morning, five days after a water main break disrupted the lives of about 100,000 residents and businesses.

About 15,000 residents and businesses remain without water, according to David E. Scott, the city's director of public works, and will likely not get service before then.

Scott said Tuesday afternoon that parts needed to repair the break are headed to the area from Ohio. Once they arrive, he said, crews are planning to work around the clock to get the main fixed.

"Once we get the 36-inch main repaired, we'll be back in service. Right now, we only have a 16-inch main here, and that 16-inch isn't enough to provide water for all this area," Scott said.

The broken area of the 36-inch main is under a stream, which a contractor had to divert, said Baltimore public works spokesman Kurt Kocher. A temporary road was built through the wooded area to the stream, and the damaged pipe has been exposed, he said.

"All of this is going very quick, remarkably well," Kocher said.

Service has been restored as far north as Franklin Boulevard, but Reisterstown residents and businesses in areas south of Franklin Boulevard were asked to conserve water to allow the system's tanks to refill after the loss of 3 million gallons.

Baltimore County emergency management will continue to distribute drinking and nonpotable water for household uses at the Reisterstown Regional Park on Mitchell Drive from noon to 9 p.m. On Monday, county staff gave away water to more than 1,100 households. Residents should bring containers for the nonpotable water.

County officials said the following 11 public schools would be closed again today because of the water outages and restrictions:

Franklin high, middle and elementary schools; Owings Mills high and elementary schools; New Town High School; Cedarmere Elementary School; Chatsworth School; Glyndon Elementary School; Reisterstown Elementary School; and Timber Grove Elementary School. In addition, the Maryland School Assessment schedule for these elementary and middle schools has been affected and a new schedule will be announced in coordination with the Maryland State Department of Education when the schools reopen.

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