Questions Remain As Water Main Repairs Go On

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SCRANTON -- Thousands of people in Scranton are settling in for their second night without running water.

After hours of work, crews from Pennsylvania American Water have uncovered the broken water transmission line that's left all those homes and businesses dry.

Officials now say the break is in a joint connector of a 36-inch main in the center of the street.

The 500 block of River Street looks drastically different now than it did Thursday.

Crews from Pennsylvania American Water spent Friday getting to the pipe and then trying to figure out how to fix it.

Officials still have no clear idea of how long folks may be without water.

Workers from Pennsylvania American Water have been at the garage at the Lackawanna Ambulance headquarters on Remington Avenue.

They’re answering questions and helping people collect water for their homes. But they don't have the answer most people are looking for:  how long until the water's back on?

“Been told so many things you don't know, is it going to be a day? Two days? Three days?" said Richard Edwards of Scranton.

Edwards says the biggest obstacle so far has been finding buckets to put water in. Most of the stores were sold out. Carol Gill found an alternative, using snack and cookie jars, anything that could hold a little water.

“Basically, my mother emptied out every container she could find,” Gill said.

The hopes of these folks weigh on the shoulders of some other folks who spent the day digging around the broken water main on the 500 block of River Street.

Officials say the break is on the bottom of a connector pipe and it won't be an easy fix.water main break map

On the map from Pennsylvania American Water, homes and businesses in the red area are without water. Other areas, marked in orange, may have service interruptions or low water pressure. Water tanker locations are also indicated.

No one knows exactly for how long, so folks affected are happy to have some water available.

“They responded pretty fast so at least we have something to help us out. So, we're just going to grin and bear it, pretty much,” said Jim Terry of Scranton.

The workers on River Street told us earlier today that the folks affected by the water main have, for the most part, been understanding.

About a dozen people dropped off food or coffee to the workers during the day. They just hope the patience lasts while they get to the tough part, which will be actually patching the break.

Water tank locations are posted here.

Pennsylvania American Water website


  • Amy

    Most would be understanding cause they have the common sense to understand that the water company is obviously doing thier best to restore asap. Last October our family was without power for entire week–we were understanding!!! There is thousands affected but as usual you get one or two jerks that know it all!!! Thanks to all those men out there trying to fix this ad quick as possible!! Your hard work is appreciated by those with any common sense.

  • luvshorses

    since my first post did not post, I will retype it.. Dear Lord, this is not a life or death situation people. It takes time to find under all that concrete of the street and breaking through and then getting pipes and parts for the broken lines. I lived in Bear Creek in 99 when the ice broke all the lines and had no heat, no electricity and no water for 9 days and I worked full time. I went to the truck stop in Pittston to shower before work. In 1977 I lived almost a year without running water with 2 babies under the age of 2. The company provided water buffalos, there were none in the two instances I just typed about.. and guess what?: All of us, me, my husband, the two babies survived. No one can predict what caused the break, but I will bet that all the days of freezing temperatures took a toll on pipes that have most probably been in the ground for decades. Do you still work the same as you did decades ago. Can’t there be less sensationalism about this and more understanding that the crews ARE working ROUND THE CLOCK to get the situation fixed. They are doing their best.. please be more understanding .. it is not the end of the world…. you are still alive!!!

  • luvshorses

    Oh, and I wanted to add, that when I did live without the water in 99 and worked full time, I went to the truck stop in Pittston to shower… it is possible to do this. And gather up milk jugs, water jugs, ask friends to save them. I did this with 2 babies under 2 years of age!!!!

  • john M.

    Why is the water service still out in the Greenwood section?????? It should never have been cut off in the first place.

    The mainline that is broken comes down from Lake Scranton. Our service comes from Springbrook. The main pipeline feeding us comesJohn M over the mountain from Springbrook through Glenn Maura down the mountain through the golf course and Rocky Glenn Lake then up the mountain under I81 toward Ralph Lane and down Hollenback Street. Then it goes under Rt 11 (Birney Ave) down the valley and across to Taylor.

    Service was restored to parts of Montage Mountain from this same pipeline so WHY CAN’T IT BE RESTORED TO THE GREENWOOD SECTION IMMEDIATELY??? If the system is interconnected there should be shutoff valves at the connection points. Please research why they can not close those valves and restore our service right now???

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