BOIL WATER ORDER For Portland Peninsula – Water Main Break This Morning on Somerset Street

Two Pumps at the Site of the Water Main Break This AM on Somerset Street.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,244)

As of this morning at 9:30 am., the Portland Water District has put into place a boil water order for the Portland peninsula east of !-295 until further notice. This  boil water order is in place because of a water main break on Somerset Street, directly behind Skillful Home Recreation.

At 7 am, a 20 in. water main break occurred.  Somerset Street was flooded.  However, the drains along the street kicked in and most of the flooding was alleviated.  City workers had to clean out some of the drains that were clogged.  Some cars along Somerset Street were unable to start up because of the flooding.

An employee of Skillful, Amanda DiCenzo,  left her mother’s car at work last night.  When she walked to work this morning, around 8 am, it was in the hole made by the break.  The purple van  had to be towed out of the hole.  DiCenzo believes that damage was done to the van axle during the extracation.

Meanwhile, as of late this morning city employees had begun to use two pumps to pump out the water from the 20 x 20 hole which is about 5 or 6 ft. deep.  Crews were having difficulty because the pumps froze up quickly.  They had to stop often to defrost the pumps, slowing down the work.   The reason for the break in this spot is believed to be due to the old age of the water main, probably dating back to the late 1800s.

As a precaution, consumers on the East End, the Old Port and the West End  are directed to boil water for at least 5 minutes before drinking, making ice cubes, washing food, brushing teeth or in any other activity involving consumption of water.  This Order shall remain in effect until further notice.  Water samples are being collected this morning and results will be available within 24 hours.

The city is requesting motorists avoid the area.

Questions regarding this notice should be directed to:  Portland Water District at 761-8310 or customerservicepwd.org  and State of Maine Drinking Water Program at 287-2070 during normal businesses hours.

Updates will be provided at www.pwd.org and on our Facebook page and through frequent media contact.