A water main break forced the State College Borough Water Authority to shut down East Calder Way between South Allen and South Fraser streets on Wednesday.
The break was on Calder near the intersection of Kelly Alley, and SCBWA Executive Director John Lichman said it occurred a little before 6 a.m. and that crews would have it repaired by about 5 p.m.
Lichman said he doesn’t know what caused the top of the 10-inch pipe to crack and blow off.
“It would probably be old age,” he said. “It’s almost impossible to say how it happened, but it would probably be old age with the ground moving, metal fatigue and failure. It’s an 85- to 95-year-old pipe.”
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Due to the break, The State Theatre and Schlow Centre Region Library postponed Wednesday’s “Read it Watch it” showing of “Swiss Family Robinson,” State Theatre Assistant Manager Matt Olah said.
He had expected about 200 people to attend a showing.
“We had to close down for the day, because we don’t have water,” Olah said. “There’s no damage, but we just don’t have water.”
The movie will be shown at noon Thursday at the theater, Olah said.
Lichman said the authority has issued a boil water alert effective until 8 a.m. Friday. Notices were posted Wednesday on affected businesses.
“If you consume water in that area there’s a slight possibly of bacteria,” Lichman said. “We’ll test it for bacteria after it’s fixed and flushed. We’ll take samples at times were allowed to take them, and we’d know by Friday if bacteria got in there.”
The break also forced some downtown eateries to suspend business for the day. Herwig’s Austrian Bistro owner Bernd Brandstatter said he couldn’t open the restaurant, at 132 W. College Ave.
“I came in today all ready to work, and noticed there was no water,” he said. “I was told it probably wouldn’t be fixed ’til about 6 p.m., so I just decided to keep it closed for the day.”
Other businesses that closed for the day include Good Seed Baking Co., Fraser Street Deli, Fiddlehead and Viva Bella Salon. Jersey Mike’s, at 128 S. Allen St., was open for business but was without restroom facilities, owner Matt Patterson said.