Architectenbureau Kanaal Zuid

700,000 litres of water destined for water tower floods street and basements

A broken watermain on the Theodoor Van Rijswijcklaan in Boom (Antwerp Province) has left the Boom Water Tower partially empty and flooded the street and the basements of local residents’ homes. The damage caused by the leak is considerable and the Theodoor Van Rijswijcklaan will remain closed to traffic for some time yet. 

On Thursday morning residents of Theodoor Van Rijswijcklaan in Boom saw their street transform into a river of fast flowing water. The Mayor of Boom Jeroen Baeten (Flemish nationalist) told VRT News that "At around 7 am I received a phone call that there was a water leak in the street. A watermain had burst. This is a pipe with a diameter of 30cm. As a result almost 700,000 litres of water leaked from the water tower."

Local residents were shocked by Thursday morning’s events. Jhonny Van Dam told VRT News that "I was awake at 6.30 am and saw that the street had become a large river of mud. We then woke the neighbors up and called the fire brigade to come and deal with the leak. The basement and the garage were already under water. It was really fast flowing water, there was no stopping it."

A lot of damage

Mr Van Dam was not the only resident of the street that has suffered damage to his property from the water leak. Mayor Baeten told VRT News that "Refrigerators and washing machines have been damaged and there is, for example, also an electric bicycle that is no longer usable."

There was also a risk that the water could have risen so high that cars might also have been flooded. "The water was already at the level of the tires. There are a number of people here who have an electric car, so we went to them to move their vehicles”, Jhonny Van Dam said.

The road surface also suffered considerable damage and a sinkhole has developed where the water main burst.  Both the road and the water main will be repaired. The local Mayor praised the quick and efficient response of the emergency services. The road will remain closed to through traffic for the time being. The water company Pidpa will carry out checks on the sewers under the street on Monday to make sure that they were not damaged in Thursday’s incident.

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