Massive New London Water Main Break 90 Percent Contained

Aug 14, 2014

Sections of the city could have run out of water in several hours.

A water main leak in New London has been 90 percent contained several hours after New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio declared a state of emergency.

Residents reported low water pressure at around 8:00 pm on Wednesday, but it took water crews some 12 hours to find the source of the leak, which was in a marshy area of a city park. The main break was so massive, sections of the city could have run out of water in several hours. The city uses about seven million gallons of water a day, but was losing water at a rate of ten million gallons a day. 

Work is still ongoing to repair the leak, but the problem has been isolated so that the vast majority of city residents should have normal water service. The exception is one apartment block on Coleman Street, which is served directly from the broken main. 150 elderly and disabled residents there have been offered alternative accommodation until water service is restored to the building.

The city's director of public utilities, Joseph Lanzafame said had the leak continued unchecked for only another four or five hours, the entire system would have drained, leaving city residents without water. Restarting the system could have meant residents having to boil their water for months into the future.

There’s no definitive answer yet on what caused the break, but officials are speculating that this week’s torrential rain caused ground underneath the pipe to shift.