Baltimore Officials Work To Prevent More Water Main Breaks

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Heading off an infrastructure nightmare. Two and a half years after a massive water main break wiped out much of Dundalk, Baltimore launches an intensive inspection to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Kai Jackson has more on the high-tech testing underway Tuesday night.

It’s no secret Baltimore City’s infrastructure is old but a new high-tech device will determine exactly what kind of shape it’s in.

In 2009, a 72-inch water main exploded and flooded a large portion of Dundalk. The city says it’s part of an aging infrastructure in critical need of repair.

“Bottled water. A lot of flooding,” said one resident.

Numerous water main breaks later, Baltimore’s putting its infrastructure under the microscope. The city will use a pipe diver to inspect miles of pipe that make up a critical line providing water for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

“Typically, we find that four to six percent of the pipe sections are in need of repair,” said Jonathan Watts, Pure Technology.

Engineers say the pipe diver can pinpoint problems and prevent cities from haphazardly digging up pipes.

Engineers say it would take the pipe diver five hours to inspect six miles of pipeline. That information is recorded on a hard drive on the device and will later be analyzed.

The city says part of the problem is the use of pre-stressed concrete pipes.

“They were manufactured by a company that really didn’t know how to manufacture pipes very well,” said Kurt Kocher, Department of Public Works.

The pipe diver has been working for about three hours. They should be finished by 1 a.m. Wednesday. It will take six to eight weeks for engineers to analyze the data, compile it, figure out what it means and present it to city leaders so they can decide what to do.

The city says they may use the pipe diver to inspect other lines in the near future.

  • jimmy duncan jr

    i still never got help when i was flooded out in dundalk . i lived in a basement apt at the time lost everything even my vehicle that was parked out front got destroyed yet city n state refused helping me . so im homeless n out good 40k of property destroyed . as person that gave me the apt didnt have flood insurance go figure wasnt in a flood plain….yet city claims was a 850k bond but guess what that was used to pay for repair to the pipe not for the many citizens like my self displaced by their choice of pipe used were faulty … shame on baltimore …

  • Lay Off the Hype

    “…a massive water main break wiped out much of Dundalk…”? Hardly. What a ridiculous exaggeration. The quality of the journalism on this site could use some significant improvement.

  • Baltimore Officials Work To Prevent More Water Main Breaks | Baltimore Christian Radio

    […] Read the full story at WJZ 13 […]

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