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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Crews worked feverishly overnight to repair a 20-inch water main that burst early Saturday morning.

Crews had to drill down to the gushing pipe that took several hours to shutdown on 17th and Rhode Island Avenue Northwest.

When they peeled back the road they found the pipe with a 5-6 foot hole.

George Hawkins, DC Water General Manager, "we haven't had many problems on this road and we wouldn't have expected it. But there's a large excavation directly adjacent to it."
They're looking at what caused the century old pipe -- installed in 1897 -- to break. DC Water General Manager George Hawkins says they haven't ruled out anything including, the pipe's age and nearby construction work.

This is also the same site where a construction worker had to be rescued, a week and a half ago.

Rescue crews carefully lifted him up from where he fell near blasting cords 50 feet down.

Hawkins says the vibration of large equipment and demolition here could have weakened the pipe.
"They've been doing excavation down in the ground. We have no reason to believe they caused the break, on the other hand they are 3-4 feet apart. The excavation hole is right next to where the break occurred."

There are 5 big construction machinery submerged including 3 excavators. WUSA9 was also told there are nearly 7 and a half million gallons of water in the construction pit. That's equivalent to nearly a dozen Olympic size pools!
DC Water says it could take a couple of days to pump all the water out. Crews are making sure they don't remove the water to quickly and compromise the construction walls.

As of 6 a.m. Sunday, a spokesperson said while the cause was undetermined, the pipe was fixed. Crews will monitor the situation but the roads are reopened. We're told work finished at midnight.

Nearby hotels, condos and businesses could be experiencing low water pressure or no water at all. DC Water hopes to get the water flowing by the end of the night.

There are no reports of injuries. There were reports of minor flooding at nearby businesses, including the Mayflower Hotel.

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