Universal York

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Water Main Break in York Washes Huge Crater in Street

Four York Water employees: Leroy Chronister, Gerry Bolton, James Johnson, and Alexander Wilson work to repair the break.
The recent broken 10-inch water main in South George Street has been repaired and the street resurfaced. The ride there was bumpy for a while, but minor compared to the havoc caused when a 20-inch main, carrying water at 80 pounds of pressure a square inch, burst 60 years ago.
An estimated million gallons of water gushed from that break at Springettsbury Avenue and Newberry Street in October 1948. It created a crater at that intersection that was 20 feet deep by 20 feet wide by 30 feet long.

“Great avalanches of water churned along the 300 block of West Springettsbury Avenue and the 800 block of South Newberry Street.” The Gazette and Daily reported that water company crews worked all night closing valves to keep more water out of that main.
York Hospital had to turn off its heat because there was no water for its boiler plant. Night shift workers were sent home from International Chain and Cable. The paper reported: “Members of the cast of ‘The Hasty Heart,’ York Little Theater production currently at Phineas Davis Junior High School, went home last night with their make up on. The school building was completely without water.”
Phineas Davis school is way across town, and it was reported that areas as far east as Haines Road and Yorkshire were affected. Except for Springettsbury and Newberry, York was certainly a dry town that night.
Click here to read about York’s first log water mains.
Stuck in the mud.