Philadelphia water main breaks spike since Christmas

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia water department says crews have been working "at an almost 24/7 pace" to deal with a high rate of water main breaks since Christmas.

The department says there were 117 water main breaks in January 2017, but there have been 176 main breaks in the first half of this January. The department still has 170 leak investigations outstanding and is trying "to get those assigned and inspected."

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And with the call center overwhelmed, the department will for the first time -- and temporarily -- take customer service requests via social media.

Customers can follow the department on Facebook and Twitter. Officials will monitor these pages for direct messages between 9 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week until further notice.