Southeastern PA

Water main break prompts boil advisory in Pottstown

Crews around region plagued by broken water mains

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - Boil water notices were in effect and crews were working overtime as frigid conditions caused water main breaks across the region.

As we come out of the deep freeze, officials said the problems may only get worse.

Crews were digging deep in Reading on Thursday afternoon after a main broke and sent water gushing out of the sidewalk and into the 1600 block of Cotton Street.

The public works department in Pottstown, Montgomery Co., has also been under siege. Workers, battling through the frigid cold, tried to make up ground after more than 12 water mains broke in the past two weeks.

"We've had one every day this week, so far. Last week, we had three or four of them, so it's a busy time right now," said Doug Yerger, director of public works in Pottstown.

On Thursday, crews were working to fix a broken main at Wilson Street and Mount Vernon Avenue in the borough. Across town, part of Berks Street was closed, and a contractor was called in to work on another broken main.  

"It was a sheet of ice and yesterday it wasn't there, so it must have happened overnight or early early this morning," said Debbie Ullman, who lives right in front of the broken main.

"As things warm up again, we've got a thermal change going on with the materials and it's a problem," said Yerger.

Broken pipes are also a problem plaguing homeowners. Jahre Tisdale woke up Thursday morning to find an inch of water in the basement of his home on Gordon Street in Reading. His pipe burst and was leaking from about four different places.

"As soon as I got up I turned the lights on and noticed it was raining in my house and not outside," said Tisdale, who called the fire department for assistance.

A boil water notice is in effect for North Franklin Street in Pottstown.

Water used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food should be brought to a boil for one minute and then allowed to cool, officials said.

Anyone with questions can call the borough's public works department at 610-970-6527.

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