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Water Main Break on Commonwealth Avenue Disrupts Businesses

A water main broke in front of the Boston College MBTA station on Commonwealth Avenue on Monday afternoon, temporarily shutting down surrounding businesses.

Nearby storefronts were notified of the break around 4:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon by Newton City Services, according to Mynor Recinos, a worker at Flat Breads Cafe. 

“They showed up a couple hours after it happened, and then they shut the water [off], so we closed down,” Recinos said.

Recinos said he was notified around 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday that the water would be shut off again. 

“They came around lunchtime,” Recinos said. “They said that they were going to shut the water [off] again, so whatever they did last night didn’t work.”

Businesses on the Boston side of the Newton-Boston city line were not directly affected by the water main break, according to Ernie Rozzi, owner of Crazy Dough’s Pizza. 

“We got lucky there wasn’t enough water to damage anything else,” Rozzi said. “The trucks didn’t get here until at least a minimum of five hours of water just coming down the hill.” 

Violeta Panayotova, MCAS ’25, was working at White Mountain Creamery on Monday afternoon when she heard about the water main break. 

“One of the Newton [Department of Public Works] employees came in and he explained that the water main broke,” Panayotova said. “Then we called our boss, who said that we need to close down because—obviously—it’s unhygienic for us to serve ice cream without water.” 

Newton Department of Public Works employees were still working to fix the water main break on Tuesday afternoon. (Angelina Li / Heights Staff)

According to Panayotova, there was a considerable flow of water on the street outside of White Mountain. From his storefront, Rozzi said he could clearly see the amount of water gushing into the road.

“Tons and tons of water came flowing down the street … you [could] see the whole hill covered, it covered everything and went all the way down,” Rozzi said. 

Panayotova said there were also lots of workers from the city of Newton on the scene.

“There were so many trucks outside, I guess trying to fix the problem,” Panayotova said. 

A similar water main break occurred nearby on the corner of Lake Street and Commonwealth Avenue in January of 2022, causing Crazy Dough’s Pizza to lose power. Rozzi said he suspects the breakdown of these pipes is due to how old they are.

“You try to run a business in the year 2000 on pipes that are built in the 1800s,” Rozzi said. “Nothing is gonna get fixed until it blows up.” 

Rozzi said he hopes the issue will be resolved quickly. 

“Let them do what they do, they’re professionals,” Rozzi said. “I just don’t know how it’ll affect those businesses … Hope not for long, because it’s the holidays and to be closed going into the holidays is not good for business.”

December 5, 2023