At approximately 4 a.m., the Philadelphia Water Department was alerted to a water main break at Sansom and Juniper streets. The break occurred on a 48-inch transmission main, which supplies water to a large section of South Philadelphia and Center City.

The Water Department responded within minutes. The water main was shut down at approximately 7 a.m. The Water Department crews are working around the clock to pump water from properties and to ensure that claims adjusters go door to door to identify any businesses or homes that were flooded or damaged. 

We ask that all businesses or residents that have not seen someone from the PWD and have experienced damage contact our hotline at (215) 685-6300. Documentation of such damage is essential to ensure eligibility for the assistance of PWD in the cleanup and reimbursement for lost goods.

Media Inquiries:

John DiGiulio  (215) 317-0611
Laura Copeland (215) 685-4902

Street Closure Maps
updated at 3 p.m. July 3, 2018

12th, 13th, and Juniper Streets are currently closed between Chestnut and Locust. Sansom is closed from from Broad to 12th, and Walnut from Broad to 11th.Juniper St. between Chesnut and Walnut, and Sansom St. from Broad to 13th, will remain closed during repairs to the water main.

Click a map to view larger version

Facts about this water main break:

  • Location: Juniper & Sansom
  • Water Main Size, Age and Material: 48-inch transmission main, 1927, Cast iron
  • Cause of break: unknown at this time. Once the broken section of main is removed, it will be analyzed
  • Time/date of break: July 3 at approx. 4 a.m.
  • Water Loss: between 14-15 million gallons
  • Water pressure: back to normal 
  • Flooded properties: Approx. 30-40 properties
  • Damage to other utilities: Still assessing
  • Impact to businesses: Some flooded to full basement; still assessing extent

Customer Impacts:

  • PWD claims adjusters on site
  • Customers experiencing low water pressure should flush their service for 3–5 minutes by turning on the tap at the lowest level of their home, e.g. utility sink or kitchen faucet. Multi-story properties should flush their services for a longer period and flush backflow preventers
  • A PWD info tent will be located at 13th and Sansom streets on Thursday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – PWD claims representatives and Public Affairs staff will be available

Next Steps:

  • Cleanup to restore impacted streets and get businesses back into business
  • Cave-in location made safe
  • Assess impact to other utilities and sewer
  • Repair damaged infrastructure 
  • Restore street
  • Too early to provide a time estimate for this work

PWD appreciates our customers’ patience during this emergency work, as any water main break of this magnitude can be messy and disruptive.

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Check out this video to learn more about how PWD responds to Water Main Breaks: