On October 26, one million gallons of drinking water spilled in about one hour
from a burst water main in Middletown off Silvermine Road near the Connecticut
Juvenile Training Center and the Connecticut Valley Hospital. The 24-inch pipe
conveys water from reserve tanks of the Roth Water Treatment Plant (processing
water from the Roth Wellfield) for wide distribution as part of a wide
distribution system. The pre-dawn water main break forced the cutoff of water
for Middlesex Hospital, service area schools, residences, and businesses. The
leak was plugged before the end of the day, but water quality was affected for
several days. As of November 9, the only relatively authoritative explanation,
offered by Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, was that during a power outage the
previous week, valves closed suddenly, putting pressure on a segment of the
main, which cracked and eventually broke during a morning high-demand time.
Numerous questions remain, including why the system did not have the resiliency
to deal with a relatively minor power outage.