State of emergency has been lifted in New London - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State of emergency has been lifted in New London

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New London firefighters check the water pressure at a hydrant. (WFSB Photo) New London firefighters check the water pressure at a hydrant. (WFSB Photo)

The city of New London is no longer in a state of emergency after a major water leak on Thursday.

People were told to restrict water use earlier in the day because of the massive water main break that was discovered.  

New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said "a broken water main and rapidly dropping water pressure."

New London Public Works Director Joseph Lanzafame said Thursday night that locating the break was challenging because water was spilling into an overgrown, swampy area.

"This was nearly a catastrophic system failure," said Lanzafame. "If it had taken us an hour or an hour and a half longer to locate the break, we would have reached a point of no return. Residents and businesses throughout New London would have been without clean water for the next month.

New London city crews had isolated the leak quickly, after the 50-year-old, 20-inch main broke in the woods in a remote area of Bates Woods Park behind the housing authority.

According to the mayor, 10 million gallons of water leaked because of the break. On an average day, the city uses about 7 million gallons of water. 

"We have seen water pressure in the city has stabilized," Finizio said earlier in the day. "As individual usages throughout the neighborhoods have now declined, so we are hopeful that as everyone continues to cooperate with restricting non-essential water use and the leak containment continues to go as it is going we are hopeful the worst case scenario will be avoided."

He had asked residents to not wash their cars, water lawns, do laundry, as a means of conserving water, all of which is no longer in effect.

Officials at the Lawrence & Memorial Hospital said, "no procedures have been canceled, and patient care areas have not been impacted."

"We have begun to conserve water on a precautionary basis," Lawrence & Memorial Hospital said in a statement on Thursday. 

The members of the New London Fire Department said they were not impacted by the break.

Fort Trumbull State Park was closed because of the water restrictions, however as of a little after 3:30 p.m. it was reopened.

Finizio told Eyewitness News that he has asked the governor for assistance and the state is expected to give aide to the city, and a partial activation of the state emergency command center was issued.

If any residents experience any water issues, they are advised to call (860)447-5222. 

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