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Water main breaks impact retirement centers in Catonsville

Aging pipes and cold behind Catonsville problems
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 18:25:37-05

CATONSVILLE, Md. — The problem surfaced early Monday at water-front properties along Maiden Choice Drive in Catonsville.

The problem is they've never fronted water before.

It bubbled up through the ground from broken pipes beneath their lawns and the road.

"When I got up this morning and tried to use the water in the sink in the bathroom, it didn't work, but my husband was up at five to go to the gym and he realized it was out and called," said Laura Breedy.

Crews braved bitter temperatures to assess the problem and to get busy fixing the problem.

"We have a broken 12-inch main here effecting two senior citizen complexes down the street,” said City Public Works Supervisor Chester Green, Jr. “We're in the process of getting ready to start making repairs once we start digging it out."

With St. Martin's home, ran by the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the sprawling Charlestown Senior Living Facility left in the dry, the city brought in bottled water in the short-term, but add the service shouldn't take long to restore.

"A couple of hours. It's not bad,” said Green. “I've got to cut a piece out that'll take a little longer, but it will be done today."

Along nearby Dogwood Avenue in Baltimore County, a broken 16-inch main caused similar outages.

Problems, which typically arise as temperatures fluctuate, challenging the integrity of lines buried in the ground.

"Some of them, it's age-related,” said Green, “This is probably temperature though."
"The hot and the cold?"
"Yes, and the mains start moving. The ground shifts a little bit and it'll pop them," he responded.

At this time, the water main break at Maden Choice has been restored and the break on Dogwood Avenue is in the process of restoration.