Water main break destroys street near Los Angeles, California - July 29, 2014    

"All the land between New England and Mexico is being pulled at a diagonal, and it is not just the fault lines that are feeling stress. All will participate when the New Madrid Fault makes a serious adjustment."  ZetaTalk


Since 2013, a conspicuous number of water main breaks and sinkholes have been reported across the U.S.  While water lines commonly rupture during winter months, especially in regions experiencing subfreezing temperatures, large water mains are fracturing in southern states where ground temperatures remain above freezing.

Notable water main breaks and sinkholes during the first 6 days of 2013:


January 1

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - "Super Sinkhole Walter" and 40 Others

Harrisburg officials expect it will take several weeks to repair damage from a massive sinkhole that forced dozens of residents to evacuate.

The city’s Department of Public Works said it could be another 30 days before water, sewer and gas lines are replaced in the neighborhood where the sinkhole is causing problems.  "Super Sinkhole Walter," as the North Fourth Street collapse has been called, is big enough to have its own Foursquare check-in location.

On Thursday, the massive hole partially swallowed a construction backhoe.

The hole opened Monday morning, and later opened a bigger hole.

A spokesman for Mayor Linda Thompson said the city must replace the entire water and sewer system lines on the block.
The spokesman, Robert Philbin, said new water and sewer lines will not be working for five to six weeks.

These two large sinkholes in the 2100 block of North Fourth Street are among at least 40 sinkholes covered by steel plates citywide, according to Kevin Hagerich, director of the city’s Department of Public Works.

Interactive Map of Known Sinkholes in Harrisburg







January 3

Malibu, California - Recurring Water Main Breaks

Another water main break in Malibu collapsed part of John Tyler Drive as crews worked to repair the leak.

A broken water main and partially collapsed road have narrowed traffic to one lane on Malibu Country Drive near John Tyler Drive.

Between 30 and 35 customers in Malibu Country Estates are without water. Los Angeles County Public Works received a call about a partially collapsed roadway on Malibu Country Drive at 9:30 a.m, according to spokesman Mike Kaspar.

Kaspar said the road is cut down to one lane for approximately 100 yards.

This is the second water main break reported in Malibu in as many days. On Wednesday, the main that supplies water to the Adamson House broke and employees from Public Works worked overnight on a temporary fix and permanent reroute of the underground pipeline. Westbound traffic on Pacific Coast Highway was cut down to one lane between Malibu Inn and Serra Road while crews made the repair.




Grand Rapids, Michigan - Big Hole / Deep Water

A water main break has closed the westbound lanes of 44th Street between Division Avenue and U.S. 131 in Wyoming, Michigan

A broken valve is causing complications in repairing the break in a 16-inch water main and the road may be closed until Saturday, authorities now say.

The valve, which broke in a partially-closed position, must be replaced before the water main can be fixed, Wyoming Director of Public Works William Dooley said in a statement on Friday, Jan. 4.

The water main broke area of 44th Street SW and Clay Avenue on Thursday.

The westbound lanes of 44th Street are closed near Clay Avenue, and Clay is closed from 44th Street north to Louisiana Avenue.

Dooley said the repair is taking much longer than anticipated because of the valve problem. Water is still flowing from the main because the valve cannot be closed.

A private contractor has been called to help city crews and they expect to fix the valve this afternoon.

Dooley said the water main break has not affected drinking water to area residents.

“Once the valve has been replaced, we will start work to repair the water main and hope to have that wrapped up yet today. We recognize and apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused to businesses, area residents and motorists and are working as quickly as we can to return things to normal," Dooley said in the statement.




January 4

New Orleans, Louisiana - Cajun Geyser

A water main break in the middle of Adams Street near Maple poured water into the streets Friday afternoon.

Sewerage and Water Board crews arrived on the scene around 1:30 pm to address the incident.

An hour or so later, the break erupted into a full-blown geyser, showering Adams Street with water.

Water was rising on the sides of the street near several Uptown businesses, creeping up on the tires of some cars.





January 5

Atlanta, Georgia

A massive water main break caused headaches for both residents and drivers on Clairmont Road in Chamblee, more than 24 hours after it first happened.

A huge hole opened up in the road between Airport Road and Wingate Road Saturday morning. Residents in the area were without water for much of the weekend after the 30-inch water main break.

DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan told Channel 2 Action News that they first had to clear out the water from the hole to determine the cause before they could begin repairing it. Major damage to the road and the sidewalk could still be seen well into Sunday morning.

Brennan says the pipe's age could have been a factor in the break.

Police were on the scene to re-direct traffic away from the area near DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.



Sacramento, California

Water main break floods East Sacramento neighborhood

A 16-inch water main broke Saturday morning, turning two streets into ponds and damaging several homes along 39th and D Streets.



Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority says that a 30-inch line broke in the Oakland/Bloomfield area near the South Millvale Bridge at Morewood Street.

Two Port Authority stations and a portion of bus routes were closed after the water main break.

The break happened in North Oakland around 6 a.m. and the Neville Ramp, Herron and Negley Port Authority stations were closed as a result, our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.

The East Liberty station is as far as inbound buses can go and outbound buses will make it to the 26th Street Ramp, the Post-Gazette says.

Officials said the water main break exposed a 24-inch Equitable gas line.

“Public Safety is our No. 1 concern,” Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Director of Operations Tom Palmosina said in a press release. “PWSA crew responded immediately and began isolating the leak.”

PWSA officials said that all efforts are being focused on the gas line.



January 6

Seattle, Washington

A large water main break on Sunday caused the closure of State Route 20 in Port Townsend near the ferry terminal.

Around 3 a.m., Police and Public Works responded to the 1800 block of Water Street where the break was reported near the Tides Inn and Suites.

Portions of State Route 20 pavement were raised several inches above the original road bed as pressure from the water pushed up to the surface. When crews first arrived on scene they found water running west down the road. At least one business, The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, had flood damage as water rushed into the building.

The closure affects commuters traveling to the Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry route.  Detour routes for ferry traffic have been set up through city streets.

Water to at least a dozen businesses and residents was shut off but was restored by 3:30 p.m.

The Department of Transportation will not have materials available to begin repairing the highway until sometime Monday, according to Claudia Bingham Baker, WSDOT communications manager.

Detours will remain in place until crews determine the road is safe to reopen, which would occur Monday at the earliest.

The cause of the break is under investigation.


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Comment by Howard on July 29, 2013 at 4:18am

Another Erupting Water Main in North Dallas Topples Traffic Light (July 25)

A break in a Dallas water main toppled a traffic signal around 5 a.m. Friday morning.

Water flowed down Arapaho Road in north Dallas Friday morning after a large main ruptured.

It happened after 5 a.m. near the intersection of Arapaho and Hillcrest roads.



Comment by Howard on July 25, 2013 at 5:58am

West Virginia Water Main Break 'Puts on Wild Show' (July 24)

A water main broke in Charleston Tuesday morning and sent water 40-50 feet in the air.

The break was reported about 7 a.m. Tuesday along MacCorkle Avenue between the Southside Bridge and the Frontier building.

This water main break is not affecting traffic because the water is shooting toward the Kanawha River.




Comment by Howard on July 24, 2013 at 5:51am

Water Main Break Floods New Orleans Neighborhood (July 23)
A ruptured water main flooded streets and vehicles for 15 blocks. Honking horns and frantic knocks on doors were a dawn wake up call to a world gone wet.

"I was shocked. I couldn't believe it," said Joe Perdue.

"Oh my Lord, I hope my car is not in a hole or something," said Alan Dalton, smiling ironically as he looked at where his car sat in the hole.

Alan Dalton parked his car where he always parked it, and the pipe broke right underneath it, partly submerging the vehicle he treasured.

First there was the challenge of getting Alan's car out of the hole. The tow truck got stuck in the mud, a back hoe had to rescue it, forming a chain of vehicles that Alan watched sadly.



Comment by Howard on July 23, 2013 at 3:45am

Colorado Water Main Geyser Damages Home, Cars (July 21)

Thousands of gallons of water gushed out of broken water main before crews could stop it.

Neighbors described it as a geyser.

"I've never seen anything like this before," one told 11 News.

Water didn't just spill onto the road, but shot out of the main, towering over the nearby homes. One family was displaced after the water damaged their home. Two vehicles were also damaged.

The water main broke near Windsor and Palmer on the south side of Pueblo. The sound was so loud, residents living a few blocks away reported hearing it.

The Board of Water Works says they don't know what cause the break. Crews repaired the damage and will be back Monday morning to finish repairing the road.



Comment by Howard on July 11, 2013 at 3:49am

Water Main Break Sends Geyser Through Middle of Utah Street (July 8)

A water main broke and sent water shooting up out of the middle of the street in a Murray Utah neighborhood Monday afternoon.

The incident occurred near the area of 5500 South and 1100 West around 5 p.m. City officials were able to get the water flow stopped around 5:30 p.m.

Water can be seen in the video above shooting 30 to 40 feet into the air. Rocks, concrete and other debris were also blasted into the air. It was not a manhole or other cover that broke; the force of the water ruptured the asphalt.

The 12-inch water main was carrying culinary water.  The cause of the rupture has not been determined.



Comment by Howard on July 6, 2013 at 10:29pm

Ruptured Water Main Creates 30-Ft Geyser in Atlanta Georgia (July 4)
Rosalyn Stokes thought she would be celebrating Fourth of July fireworks Thursday. Instead, she had to deal with water works after a 30-foot-high geyser erupted in her front yard.

"I found water just gushing out of my front yard like a geyser," said Stokes. She said her first thought was who was going to foot the bill for repairs. Her son shot video of the geyser on her cellphone.

Another neighbor, Velma Jacobs, grabbed a camcorder and recorded video of the geyser, too. She said it shot up so high, it soaked a series of power lines over their street. She was worried the water and electricity wouldn't mix.

"It scared me. It really did," said Jacobs. "I didn't know what was going to happen. I said, if those lines fall, it's going to be some severe damage out there."



Comment by Howard on July 4, 2013 at 6:29am

Yet Another Water Main Break in Dallas Texas (July 3)
A water main break early Wednesday morning sent water cascading 50 feet in the air on 8600 block of Skillman Street.



Comment by lonne rey on July 2, 2013 at 10:48am

7ft Water main burst, Dallas

A water main measuring seven feet in diameter ruptured early Monday morning near White Rock Lake. The break happened just before 5:00 a.m. in the 2800 block of West Lawther Drive, near White Rock Road, and caused massive headaches for neighbors and drivers in the area.

“It’s a very important pipeline,” said Randy Payton with the City of Dallas. The 84-inch pipe transmits drinking water from the southern portion of Dallas to the northern parts of the city. It is the third largest pipeline in Dallas, and had been operating for around 30 years. It is still unclear what caused the pipe to rupture.

This was the second water main break in Dallas in just over 24 hours, and the third break in the past week. Tarrant County and Collin County have also been battling water main breaks in the past week.


Comment by Howard on June 27, 2013 at 4:24am

Powerful Water Main Rupture Blows Roof off Texas Home (June 26)

A rupture in a water main sent a high pressure geyser rocketing toward a Fort Worth home Tuesday night. It blew out windows, tore off the roof and flooded the house with up to a foot of water.

The break left as many as 70 homes without water Tuesday night. Asphalt and rock littered the front yard of the home in the 3600 block of Walton Avenue. 

Homeowner Ann Spencer was inside when the line broke, and said the water hitting her home sounded like power lines snapping in a storm. She ran outside though when her ceiling started to cave in.

“I went out the patio door and it almost knocked me over, coming over the house in the backyard,” she said.

Spencer and her boyfriend Norm Green said the geyser sprayed the home for up to 45 minutes before city crews were able to turn the water off.

“Everybody was just looking in awe, you know,” Green said. “There was nothing you could do.”




Compilation video that also includes footage of a North Dallas water main break that occurred on June 24.

Comment by Howard on June 25, 2013 at 6:12am

Burst Water Line Creates Large Geyser Near Salt Lake City (June 24)

An estimated 500,000 gallons of water exploded out of a building in Riverdale Monday afternoon.

The water flowed up through the roof of the building, creating a geyser 50 to 60 feet high.

A piece of carbon steel pipe flew across the room and damaged a hypochloride tank.

The coupling burst shortly before 12:30 at a building near 4550 S 700 W. The building sits atop a deep ground water well, one of 18 in the in the district.

Brad Nelson, Drinking Water Manager for Weber Basin Water, said the water flowed for about 30 minutes and caused an estimated $500,000 in damage.

Nelson said the coupling probably failed due to a combination of time and pressure.

The facility takes drinking water straight from a well, chlorinates it and sends it to customers, Nelson said.

"We've run this well station for 10 years without any problems," he said.

Nelson said he doesn't know yet what caused the coupling to fail and that it could take up to eight weeks to repair the station.




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