Thursday morning update:North Adams crews still working to fix ruptured water main

NORTH ADAMS — City workers were kept busy well into the evening Wednesday, dealing with a break in one of the city's primary water mains.

Crews had to cut a dump truck-size rectangle through the pavement of River Street, blocking off the section of the road between the intersection of Houghton and Marshall streets and Holden Street, to get down to the ruptured main.

The break was discovered about 6 a.m., and as of 7:30 p.m., crews still were on the scene, trying to turn a stubborn shut-off valve. Members from a local gas company also were on the scene, in case the incident were to involve neighboring gas lines.

To help ease the pressure to the system and prevent a gushing geyser into the roadway, a nearby fire hydrant was opened about a block above the break. The exact cause of the break is unknown.

One crew member at the scene estimated the water-delivery system to be at least 130 years old. The affected 22-inch main carries water all the way through to the Williamstown line, he said. It was unclear how many residences were affected by the break and for how long, but people living along this route reported via social media incidents of dirty water, low water pressure and no water.

Residents received an automated robocall Wednesday evening saying they might "experience reduced or no water or brown water while the issue is being addressed."