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Duquesne water main break disrupts life for residents

| Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 3:42 p.m.
City of Duquesne worker Bill Margita hands Tom Oeler, 89, also of Duquesne a jug of water at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue.after a water main break at intersection of Mifflin & Kennedy streets left a third of Duquesne  without water, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Residence could get jugs of water and fill up containers at municipal  headquarters on South Second Street at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
City of Duquesne worker Bill Margita hands Tom Oeler, 89, also of Duquesne a jug of water at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue.after a water main break at intersection of Mifflin & Kennedy streets left a third of Duquesne without water, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Residence could get jugs of water and fill up containers at municipal headquarters on South Second Street at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Frank Piccolino, Duquesne City Manager, Scotty McCrimmon, a building code official and Duqesne worker Bill Margita talk at a water station at  St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue after a water main break at intersection of Mifflin & Kennedy streets left a third of Duquesne  without water, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Residence could get jugs of water and fill up containers at municipal  headquarters on South Second Street at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Frank Piccolino, Duquesne City Manager, Scotty McCrimmon, a building code official and Duqesne worker Bill Margita talk at a water station at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue after a water main break at intersection of Mifflin & Kennedy streets left a third of Duquesne without water, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Residence could get jugs of water and fill up containers at municipal headquarters on South Second Street at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
City of Duquesne worker repair a water main break at intersection of Mifflin & Kennedy streets that left a third of Duquesne  without water, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Residence could get jugs of water and fill up containers at municipal  headquarters on South Second Street at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
City of Duquesne worker repair a water main break at intersection of Mifflin & Kennedy streets that left a third of Duquesne without water, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Residence could get jugs of water and fill up containers at municipal headquarters on South Second Street at St. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

About 1,200 Duquesne residents will have to boil their water before drinking it or cooking with it until Wednesday afternoon because a Monday-night water main break left many businesses and residents with little or no water for most of a day.

The break occurred near the intersection of Mifflin and Kennedy streets about 10 p.m. Monday. Crews from the Duquesne Water Department finished replacing the broken section about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, though residents were under a boil-water advisory for 24 hours while the system refills with treated water, Mayor Phillip Krivacek said.

Most of the affected customers were on the south end of town, Krivacek said. Crews flushed fire hydrants Tuesday afternoon to clear air and sediment from the system.

“Last night (water flow) was really slow starting around 9:30, quarter to 10, and when I got up this morning, there was absolutely nothing,” Peter Street resident Dan Shultz said. “I have a swimming pool out back, and I've been taking buckets of water up to the house to flush the toilets with.”

Luckily, the American Croatian Club where Shultz is a bartender had water. He predicted “Wing Night” might be busier than usual if many residents were without water much longer.

At the Maloy-Schleifer Funeral Home, Bill Schleifer said he put out bottled water for mourners because his water pressure was too low to run the water fountains. He hosted a visitation Tuesday for Duquesne Fire Chief Richard Bodnar, who died Sunday.

“I said to one of the firemen that I don't know what they'd do if there were a fire,” Schleifer said.

The Duquesne Volunteer Fire Department had tanker trucks standing by and will have tanks of both drinkable and nondrinkable water for cooking, cleaning and flushing at the firehouse on Second Street and at St. Peter and Paul Byzantine Church on Foster Avenue until the boil-water advisory is lifted, Fire Lt. Mike Kurta said.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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