A precautionary boil-water advisory is still in effect for some parts of northern Baltimore County after crews finished repairing a water main that broke on Monday and flushed the water system, the Baltimore Department of Public Works said.
In a Wednesday night update, the city agency said it is collecting water samples at several sites in the affected area, which includes Hunt Valley, Cockeysville, Sparks and the Broadmead retirement community, and expects results by “Friday evening, if not sooner.”
If no contaminants are found, DPW will lift the advisory that has affected an estimated 1,900 customers who live north of the intersection of York and Shawan roads.
Workers finished repairs to the broken 20-inch main at 13816 York Rd. about 6:45 a.m. and spent much of the day flushing the water system and restoring a section of the roadway.
City and county officials will return to the headquarters of USA Lacrosse, at 2 Loveton Circle in Sparks, on Thursday to distribute bottled water from noon to 7 p.m., DPW said.
“No known E. coli or other bacteria contamination has been detected” as of Wednesday night, the agency said in a news release.
Repair work on the section of York Road where the break occurred was expected to last through the evening rush hour commute, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and take I-83 as an alternate route.
Under Maryland Department of the Environment regulations, DPW said, a precautionary boil-water advisory is issued when one or more homes lose water pressure. Residents should boil water for at least a minute before drinking, brushing their teeth, giving water to pets or using it with food.
DPW created an interactive map for Baltimore County residents to determine if they are in the advisory area.
Child care centers, businesses, residents affected
Kelly Pucillo, the director of Embark Education, closed her Sparks day care center early Wednesday due to the lack of water pressure.
She said the students at the center are not able to wash their hands, as water drops at a trickle, or flush the toilets after using the restrooms.
“Our biggest issue, as a school, has been that there’s zero information to make determinations on whether or not the school can remain open,” Pucillo said.
Two other child care centers near Embark Education, The Goddard School of Sparks and the Step by Step Children’s Learning Center, are also closed.
And at least three businesses in the Sparks Village shopping center closed for the day due to the water main break.
The entrance to Broadmead is located right near the York Road site.
Joyce Malone, the vice president of facility services at Broadmead, said the community developed an emergency plan after a similar incident in 2016.
Residents received cases of bottled water for drinking, as well as containers of water jugs for bathing.
”After the first time, we put in place a process, we added a spring on our property, that we can pump water from the spring into the building so that we can fill buckets and things like that for flushing toilets. It’s not potable for drinking, but it allows us to flush toilets and things like that,” Malone said.