Crews had their work cut out for them in Springfield this morning after a water service line broke on Crane Street.

The flooding formed a sinkhole in the road and while it may just be another old pipe, the water department said that they've heard that broken record long enough.

How quickly things can escalate. An early morning broken water line forced crews to cut a car-length sized chunk out of the road.

Springfield Police closed off Crane Street around 7 a.m. Tuesday as the Water and Sewer Commission sucked the water out from the ground to prevent any further damage.

"It was a lot of water. This whole street was flooded; that side, that's how come all the rocks are floating all the way down the street down there," said Nelson Pinero.

The problem was not a water main, but rather a service line. Water and sewer officials told Western Mass News to think of a water main as a telephone or utility pole, providing power for different homes in a neighborhood.

A service line sends water to one individual home, like the power lines connected to your house.

Thankfully, nobody lost water. This line was connected to a house that no longer stands. All that remains is an empty lawn where it once stood.

The line itself is decades old. Officials said that it wouldn't be the first time.

"We have this problem all the time all over the city. It's a regular thing for us," said Jaimye Bartak with Springfield Water and Sewer.

Bartak told Western Mass News this is the reality of an older city. Some pipes are more than 100 years old, breaking in the cold or from movement in the ground and they can't always be detected either.

"We replace pipes before they break. We try to do the best we can, but the scale of the problem is very large," Bartak noted.

The Water and Sewer Commission repaired 50 water mains and lines last year alone.

The commission is calling for more funding to upgrade pipes to get to them early. Water line repair is a 24/7 operation, and with no major source of state funding right now, raising awareness is all they can do.

"It takes a lot of manpower to fix them. There's police details, there's crews that have to dig it up to replace the pipe," Bartak explained.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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