Helmut gotz drags three bags of mineral water bottles through podeldorfer strabe. "Since this morning I have no water and no one tells me what’s wrong, no one from the city, no janitor, no one. And nothing works without water", rants the resident. Like gotz, some bambergers are feeling this morning. First, at about half past one, a 150-millimeter line breaks in weibenburgstrabe, from which seven house connections hang. Two and a half hours later, damage to a much stronger water main in podeldorfer strabe is reported. As it turns out later, this case is a slow crack, a five meter long section must be exposed and replaced. "The two pipe bursts happened almost simultaneously by pure coincidence", says stadtwerke press spokesman jan giersberg.
In podeldorfer strabe, meanwhile, a small queue forms at the hydrant that was opened by the municipal utility for residents. Alexandra mohrlein and heike muller, who work in a nearby butcher shop, fill several buckets. "This is an emergency, but without water we can’t do anything", says muller. "Hopefully tomorrow it will be all right", mohrlein adds.
In both cases, giersberg cites "material mud" as the cause of the pipe bursts which surprises him especially in weibenburgstrabe, where the pipeline dates back to 1972. That the water pipe in podeldorfer strabe is another 19 years old, says a resident who is filling her canister at the hydrant. "I was suddenly without water, no tea, no toilet flush, no shower – I just went to the swimming pool", she says and carries her canister home.
"When the water fails, it is generally unpleasant for the inhabitants. In cases like this, you can always see how self-evident the water supply has become for us, says city utility spokesman giersberg. In the program "water 2025 the next step will also be the renewal of the pipeline network in the city area.
At around 3 p.M., giersberg first announced for weibenburgstrabe: "there is pressure on the pipeline again." On the spot, installer karl-heinz bauer can point to the freshly repaired water pipe, but also to wet spots under the asphalt. At both locations, the water has undercut the road, and in podeldorfer strabe, the cycle path as well. Accordingly, complete road closures will be necessary in weibenburgstrabe between zollnerstrabe and eckbertstrabe, and in podeldorferstrabe between adalbert-stifterstrabe and eichendorffstrabe.
According to the city’s press spokesman steffen schutzwohl, in the latter case "the closure will probably be maintained for at least a week", before the road is opened to traffic again. In weibenburgstrabe, attempts will be made before the weekend to convert the full closure into a one-way street with direction podeldorfer strabe – weibenburgstrabe – zollnerstrabe. The fact that zollnerstrabe is also currently closed between berliner ring and weibenburgstrabe does not make things any easier for road users, of course. Bus lines 902 and 920 are currently being diverted via berliner ring, stop "adam-kraft-strabe is currently not served.
On thursday afternoon a resident of weibenburgstrabe complained about a damp cellar. "In such cases, it is worthwhile to turn on and inform us. If we are responsible for this, our insurance was allowed to take over", says jan giersberg of the city’s public utilities department.
"The colleagues are working today until everyone has water again", he has also promised for the podeldorfer strabe. "We can’t just go digging there, because there’s another water main and a gas main there." In the evening, water again flowed through the pipe at the second site of damage. So on friday everyone can go back to showering and making coffee as usual. Only car and bicycle drivers will have to take detours for a while yet.