Boil water advisory issued for parts of Luzerne County after water main break

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NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A large water main break is affecting thousands of residents in Nanticoke and surrounding areas. Officials say the the pipe broke early Monday morning. 

Crews were still working on repairs Monday evening.

“You know you don’t have it, this morning you go to brush your teeth and what happened ya know? I know I paid my bill,” Sharon Warren told Eyewitness News.

Monday morning residents in the Greater Nanticoke area, and Dundee section of Hanover Township, all woke up to little or no water.

Pennsylvania American Water says a broken 18-inch water main in an area off lower Broadway Street is to blame. The low lying water main drained water from the entire city of Nanticoke.

“What we did since none of our fire hydrants in town work because we have a large water main break, we had outlying departments come in with tankers,” John Polifka, lieutenant with the Nanticoke Fire Department, said.

A boil water advisory is in effect until water service is restored.

According to American Water, the main break caused low tank levels, signaling the possibility that the distribution system may be contaminated or prone to contamination. Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms such as bacterias, viruses and parasites. Using bottled or boiled water is encouraged for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice.

“You don’t realize we take things for granted and you don’t have it,” Warren said.

Residents, like Warren, with little or no water lined up at the water tanks around Nanticoke to fill up buckets and containers.

“And it could be well you know how gossip goes, it could be two three days so I looked for all my containers down there,” Warren said.

“I have a resident here who’s one of my patients and I found out there’s no water,” said Lenise Roepcke, a registered nurse.

Roepcke came into town to work, and left an empty gallon by the tanker for someone who needs it.

“I had empty gallons in the car so I was just trying to help out for somebody who didn’t have one,” Roepcke said.

Back to school was also delayed because of the water main break. Both Greater Nanticoke Area School District and Luzerne County Community College were supposed to open Monday.

Nanticoke Fire Department had to call in tankers from different communities in case they get a fire call, as all fire hydrants are drained.

Water tankers have been placed in the area at the following locations:

  • Opplinger Towers
  • Nanticoke Towers
  • Park Towers
  • Birchwood Nursing Home
  • Nanticoke Fire Department Headquarters
  • Honey Pot Fire Department
  • Weis Market at the intersection of Walnut and North Market Streets

Click here for a map of the affected area.

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