Workers from the Bangor Water District clear out the area around a broken fire service line on Main Street so they can make a repair.  Credit: Courtesy of Dina Page, Bangor Water District

BANGOR, Maine — A work crew from the Bangor Water District worked Sunday morning to repair a leak on a service line on Main Street that may have only affected one business.

At 4 a.m., someone called to report the leak in the fire service line that supplies the sprinkler system of 60 Main Street, the address of Haworth Academic Center, according to Dina Page, the water quality manager at the Bangor Water District.

“What is fortunate is it is not the water main up and down Main Street. We’re not having multiple buildings affected,” she said.

The call came in just as the water district’s night operator noticed that the water level on the Thomas Hill Standpipe was dropping more rapidly than usual, she said. Because the downtown water lines are downhill, the water pressure in them is so high that when there’s a leak, officials notice right away. The district did not yet know if there is any water damage to any properties.

“I’m hoping there’s no water damage to any of the downtown businesses,” she said. “It is possible.”

It was not immediately known why the line failed. That fire service line may date back to the late 1960s, she said, and pipes fail over time.

“I don’t think anything caused it — it just let go,” she said.

The repair work began before sunrise, and was made more complicated because the crew needed to carefully skirt an underground bank of electric cables. They did so with the assistance of a vacuum crew, which was able to remove a lot of the dirt from around the fire service line. By 10:30 a.m. or so the crew had the leak isolated and were preparing to do the repair.

“We can see the hole in it and the clear water coming out,” Page said.

Traffic was expected to be flowing smoothly around the work site for the most part and the work should be finished by 3 or 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, she said.

A water main broke on Main Street — between Broad and Water Streets — back in January of 2018.

The basements of several businesses along the stretch of Main Street were flooded with at least 3 feet of water, including the bookstore Gerald Winters and Son, Herbal Tea and Tobacco and Nocturnem Draft Haus. Owners of some businesses, including Nocturnem, reported flooding levels as high as 6 feet.