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Harrisburg's infrastructure questioned after water main break - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg's infrastructure called into question following water main break

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A boil water advisory is in effect indefinitely for approximately 3,000 South Harrisburg residents following Saturday's water main break underneath South Cameron Street. It's the second pipe to crack this week.

"We'll have to come in to the area, take five samples, let them culture, test them and make sure that it's safe for human consumption," said public works director Kevin Hagerich said. "Then we'll lift the ban on the boil water and everybody will back  life will be normal, until the next time."

Hagerich said his crews are hard at work to make sure there is not a "next time." He said the problem is that the infrastructure is past its 100-year expiration date.

"A young person falls down the steps, they kind of bounce," he said. "An old person, the bones break. We're having some bones break here."

To make sure nothing else breaks, Hagerich and his team are being proactive.

"There's some laser technology out there. What it'll really do is it will let us know which ones are the most critical and that way we'll prioritize and start knocking out one project at a time," he said.

But Harrisburg is a city drowning in debt, which has one city council member flooded with fear.

"When you're dealing with a cash-strapped city, how are we going to pay for this? Where's the funding going to come from?" Councilwoman Sandra Reid said. "Maybe we can get our state legislators to work a little bit harder in getting us some funding so we can take care of some of these major infrastructure problems."

On Tuesday, an eight-inch pipe cracked under the 600-block of North Cameron Street. The city engineer attributed that break to freezing temperatures. So far, the city has not provided a price tag on the cost of repairs for either case.

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