EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 11, 2014

Broken water main fixed in Lawrence

LAWRENCE — Repair work on a broken water main on Canal Street was expected to be completed by 11 p.m. yesterday, Public Works Director John Isensee said.

"Our guys are doing the work," he said, instead of a private contractor. Parts of Canal Street were closed while a DPW crew dug up part of the road and patched the 16-inch main.

The main is not being replaced, Isensee said. The water main was installed by mill owners in the late 1800s to provide water for fighting fires in their buildings.

It does not carry drinking water for Lawrence residents so there shouldn't be any interruption of service, Isensee said.

Water and Sewer Department employees discovered the break at 7 a.m. yesterday. There was "substantial water flow" at 203 Canal St., near Union and Mill streets, Isensee said.

It supplies water to sprinkler systems in nearby industrial and commercial buildings. Isensee credited Water and Sewer Commissioner Brian Peña and his department with responding efficiently to the rupture.

The water flow made a sinkhole in the street, which workers had to drain before they could patch the pipe.

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