Jun. 7—METHUEN — A broken water main sent water cascading down Oakland Avenue on the morning of June 6 and cut service to more than 100 homes.
The rupture occurred at approximately 1 a.m. when the eight-inch cast iron main gave way under the section of Oakland Avenue between Craven and Railroad streets.
"There is a major water main break on Oakland Ave. near Railroad Street, 100-plus homes without water," police said in a Facebook post. "Traffic detour is in place on Oakland between Railroad and Craven."
According to city officials, the water main has been in service since the early-1900s.
Despite being one of the most durable pipes available, the useful life of a cast iron main is typically 100 years, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Although the cause of the break remains unclear, it is believed that recent roadwork may have been a factor.
The Water Department estimated that 500,000 gallons of water was lost before the situation was brought under control.
The break was repaired by 10:15 a.m.; however, traffic was diverted from the area until 3 p.m.
The following day, at approximately 12:20 p.m, the city reported that a second water main had ruptured at the intersection of Anderson Drive and Dottie Lane.
Service was shut off for "most of the day" to homes in that part of the city.