A water main break in Broad Channel on Sunday, January 24 caused disruptions to water service throughout the island and the Rockaway peninsula.
At around 7 a.m. on Sunday, a water main broke near Cross Bay Boulevard and East 1st Road in Broad Channel. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation and the NYPD responded. Due to flooding conditions and damage to the pavement, traffic was immediately closed in both directions and was eventually reopened after the area was cleared.
However, the water main rupture caused problems beyond just Broad Channel as residents across Broad Channel and the Rockaway peninsula experienced brown water in their sinks and showers. Following the water main break, the water system in the area was discolored due to rust disturbance. The DEP received several calls regarding this issue.
“Anytime there is a disruption to the way the water typically flows through the distribution (such as a water main break or use of a fire hydrant) it can result in discolored water – and we got numerous reports of discolored water across the peninsula during Sunday afternoon/evening,” a spokesman for the DEP said.
While the DEP says by Monday there were few calls of water discoloration, there were still reports from neighbors on local social media pages as of Tuesday, January 26. In response to water discoloration, the DEP said, “Though it is not harmful, residents should not drink obviously discolored water. They can run their taps until the water runs cool and clear.” If this doesn’t help, people should call 311 to report the issue.
The DEP also took action to address the issue. On the morning of Monday, January 25, emergency contractors reported to the scene of the water main break to begin repairs. This repair work is ongoing. On the evening of Sunday, January 24, they also began to open fire hydrants around the area to help flush out the system. While this helped alleviate the water discoloration, as temperatures dropped, this resulted in some icy conditions on streets and sidewalks, making Monday morning’s commute a bit slippery around Rockaway and Broad Channel.
The DEP noted that all residents should have functioning water service at this time. They did not say what may have caused the water main break.
By Katie McFadden
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