Kensington sinkhole caused by leaky pipe

    A leaky underground pipe in Kensington caused a dangerous sinkhole Monday. PWD cautions homeowners about soft ground.

    A woman driving in Kensington was injured Monday after her vehicle fell into a sinkhole that opened up on the 3400 block of Crystal Street.

    The Philadelphia Water Department’s Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Debra McCarty, says the sinkhole opened up after there was a leak in the homeowner’s water pipe.  That water washed away soil underground, creating a void that caused the ground to cave in.

    “There are parts of the city that are built on fill,” McCarty says.  “That fill is a lot lighter – it’s not clay-like, like my garden, and it will easily wash away whenever there’s a problem. I can’t really attribute problems, per se, to old pipes.  I mean, we have over 100-year-old water mains in the street and they’re in very good condition.”

    McCarty encourages the public to report leaks if they become aware of them to help avoid something like this from happening again.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal