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Water service fully restored after water main rupture in Howard County

Water Main Rupture
Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-21 18:37:31-04

ELKRIDGE, Md. — Water has been restored after a water main ruptured in Howard County affecting over 100 thousand homes.

The final two homes in Elkridge received full water restoration on Monday. A rupture happened in the 36-inch water main adjacent to the Elkridge Pumping Station on Sunday.

Ben Routh who lives nearby recalls the explosive scene, "I just finished taking a shower and I heard this big boom. I thought maybe a tree had fallen a tree, it was something big."

After seeing nothing in his yard he proceeded on, only to run into a slippery situation.

"I was getting ready to go to the store and as I pulled out I could only get to the pumping station.” Routh continued stating, "You could see all the way up all the way to the top of the hill where water was shooting horizontally out of the woods out all the way to the street.”

He immediately called in to report the leak. He said the road was left in rough condition.

"It was mud and boulders, maybe a basketball size rocks washing down,” said Routh.

Ellicott City and Snowden River Parkway were other areas with low pressure or no water.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said DPW jumped into action as soon as they started receiving calls about water loss. Moving water from other locations into two large tanks, most residents had water restored by midnight.

"This pipe was put in 1991 so it is an older pipe and it is time to evaluate,” said Ball.

Ball said full water restoration was achieved by installing a bypass valve Monday.

"While they continue to work on the pipe throughout the rest of this week, there may be times particularly early in the morning or in the evening when there may be lower water pressure," said Ball.

The County Executive said people who were impacted do not need to boil water. He hopes to assess the repair progress by Wednesday evening.