Water main break spurs boil water advisory for some local residents

By Alex Davis, originally posted on October 4, 2016


Workers restored water to an estimated 50 households much earlier than expected after a 12-inch water main blew out Monday morning at the Kessel Athletic Complex at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Now a boil water advisory is in effect for those residents until further notice.

“The repairs went better than expected,” said Bradford City Water Authority Executive Director Steve Disney, saying water should have been back for households as of around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

The break was discovered around 9:30 a.m. Monday below the tennis courts at the Pitt-Bradford athletic complex, and Disney figured that water would be restored to several homes as early as midnight Tuesday.

The break has impacted Marion Avenue to the 500 block of West Washington Street and several of the side streets.

On Monday, after-school activities at St. Bernard Elementary and Middle School were canceled. The athletic complex cannot be used by the campus and others, at least until later this week.

When the water pressure was found to be low at St. Bernard Elementary and Middle School on Monday, Principal Kim Mooney said officials gave students bottled water. Students also used paper products during lunch, and the maintenance man helped with flushing the toilets in the restrooms.

There are about 100 students who attend the school.

Those same impacted areas are now under a boil water advisory until further notice, and Disney said that water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

“The only place on campus that was affected was the Hangar Building,” Pitt-Bradford spokeswoman Pat Frantz Cercone said. “The rest of campus was not affected.”

The testing of the water will need to be conducted today and Wednesday. Two consecutive positive tests will mean the advisory can be lifted later in the week, Disney said.

In the meantime, Cercone said the fall sports have not been adversely impacted.

“All of our home tennis matches are over for the fall. However, our men’s and women’s soccer teams are scheduled to host Hilbert on Wednesday,” she said. “Those games will not be able to be held at the Kessel Athletic Complex.”

She said officials are hoping the soccer field will be set for the men’s and women’s home games against Franciscan on Saturday.

“The situation also affects Bradford High’s girls’ tennis team, which uses the facilities at the Kessel Athletic Complex for practice and competition,” Cercone said.

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