Redbank Village in South Portland in 2022. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

SOUTH PORTLAND — Water was shut off to Redbank Village Apartments for eight hours Saturday while workers repaired a water main break, according to various sources.

Redbank Village Management sent an email at 11:25 a.m. informing residents of the 500-unit housing development that water to the entire property off Westbrook Street had been shut off because of an unspecified emergency.

“This decision has been made due to an unforeseen issue that is currently under investigation,” the email said. “Rest assured, repair efforts are already en route to address the situation as swiftly as possible.”

Water service was restored at 8 p.m. Saturday. Other apartment complexes along Westbrook Street may have been affected.

“Hopefully it stays on,” said Cheryl Harkins, a Redbank resident.

The source of the problem was a water main break within Redbank Village that was repaired by a private company, according to the Portland Water District.


Water district technicians shut off water to the development so the break could be isolated and repaired, said state Rep. Chris Kessler, who learned about the water problem from constituents.

“The whole village has no water,” Kessler said Saturday afternoon.

The shutoff came at a challenging time for many people, not only interrupting weekend chores that require water, but also hampering preparation for Super Bowl gatherings on Sunday.

Harkins managed to fill a few pots with water before she lost service, but she worried that if the water remained off for long, she didn’t have transportation or the finances to buy bottled water.

“I called the office and nobody has called back, which isn’t unusual,” Harkins said Saturday afternoon.

The management company didn’t answer the phone late Saturday afternoon.

“We understand the inconvenience this may cause and assure you that we are working diligently to resolve the issue promptly,” the company said in its morning email. “Further updates will be provided via email as soon as we receive more information regarding the cause and estimated restoration time.”

Redbank Village was in the news throughout 2022 after its new California-based owners started raising rents as much as 35% for its low- and moderate-income residents, prompting the City Council to enact a six-month emergency rent cap and eviction moratorium and, ultimately, a rent control ordinance.

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