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Service restored after New Kensington water main break

| Friday, March 29, 2013, 2:03 p.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
A water main break in New Kensington creates a waterfall along Route 366 between Marlborough Drive and Freeport Road on Friday, March 29, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
A water main break in New Kensington creates a waterfall along Route 366 between Marlborough Drive and Freeport Road on Friday, March 29, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Water from an apparent water main break in New Kensington flows down the hillside above Route 366 between Freeport Road and Marlborough Drive on Friday, March 29, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
A water main break in New Kensington creates a waterfall along Route 366 between Marlborough Drive and Freeport Road on Friday, March 29, 2013.

A large portion of the Municipal Water Authority of New Kensington's service area was impacted by a water main break on Friday afternoon.

Authority Manager Jim Matta said a 16-inch transmission line burst in the woods above Route 366 behind the Rossmont housing plan. A small waterfall formed along Route 366 between Freeport Road and Marlborough Drive.

The break occurred about 12:30 p.m., and it took crews about an hour to get two related water valves “98 percent” shut off, Matta said.

He said once the valves were off, water flow was rerouted to another transmission line along Craigdell Road and service was restored.

“That's one of our main transmission lines,” Matta said of the PVC plastic pipe above Route 366. “It robbed a lot of water from a lot of areas. Until they got the two valves shut off, people were affected for a good hour.”

Matta said the broken water main runs from the two reservoir tanks in Valley Heights, under the Rossmont plan to Route 366 and connects to a booster station near Route 56 and Falcon Park Road.

The booster station serves much of Lower Burrell and parts of Allegheny Township and Upper Burrell, Matta said. New Kensington residents in the Rossmont plan, off East Hills Drive and the 40 Acres neighborhood off Craigdell Road also were impacted.

A second, smaller break occurred on Jefferson Drive in Lower Burrell and was repaired, Matta said.

He attributed the breaks to the changing spring temperatures that affect underground pressure.

Since the Route 366 break has been isolated and water service no longer is at risk, crews will wait until Monday morning to repair that pipe, Matta said.

He said there should not have been lingering water problems by late afternoon.

Residents were not asked to boil water or take other precautions.

Police in Lower Burrell and New Kensington said they started to receive calls about water problems shortly after 12:30 p.m. Residents in Lower Burrell, including those of Belair Health and Rehabilitation on Little Road, reported having no water.

New Kensington firefighters received an advisory from Westmoreland County emergency management about low water pressure in the Valley Heights section.

Matta said about 4:30 p.m. that fire service was no longer impacted. Ed Saliba Jr., the city's assistant fire chief and a water authority employee, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The authority serves about 15,000 customers in Allegheny Township, Arnold, Lower Burrell, New Kensington, Plum, Upper Burrell and Washington Township.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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