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 May 22, 2013 at 10:46pm

Denver Water Main Break Creates Geyser in Roadway (May 20)

A water main break sent a geyser of water shooting into the air on Detroit Street in Centennial on Monday morning.

Denver Water told 7NEWS a 12 inch main broke on South Detroit Street between Dry Creek Road and Jamison Avenue.

Photos and video from 7NEWS viewer Jennifer Cler showed the water shooting more than 10 feet in the air.

Denver Water crews shut off the water and will repair the main Monday afternoon.

Twenty-five homes are without water, according to Denver Water.



Comment by Derrick Johnson on May 20, 2013 at 9:36am

Water main break shuts down Sharonville roads


Crews are repairing a water main break Saturday afternoon in Sharonville. 

The break was reported about 2 p.m. at Reading and Creek roads. 

Water flooded nearby streets, prompting police to shut down Reading Road between Creek Road and Main Street. 

Water service was shut down in the area until the break was repaired. 

Officials said service probably wouldn't be restored until Sunday morning.


Comment by Howard on May 19, 2013 at 10:30pm

Milwaukee Water Main Break Sends Water 2 Stories High (May 19)
A water main break out in front of a business near 27th and Silver Spring in Milwaukee, Wisconsin shot water more than two stories into the air early Sunday morning, May 19th.

There’s no word on what caused the break.



Comment by Howard on May 18, 2013 at 7:13pm

Water Main Break Causes Massive Geyser in Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 17)

A violent water main break on West Michigan Avenue that turned into a geyser leaving a gaping hole in the pavement as water shot up as high as the power lines until city crews could stop the flow.

Crews have since shut the water off, but West Michigan between Monroe and Sprague is closed because the road is completely flooded.

They're still working to find the break and determine what caused it.

A precautionary boil alert has also been issued for people in the area.





Comment by Howard on May 11, 2013 at 4:37am

Massive Water Main Breaks in Boston and Montreal Flood Streets (May 10)

Water and sewer crews responded to a large water main break that sent water rushing into a North End intersection Friday night.

Boston fire officials say the break occurred just before 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of Stillman and Endicott streets.

According to a spokesman from the Boston Fire department, crews responded to the intersection of Stillman and Endicott Streets around 7:22 p.m. in the North End for a “large water main break” that spilled into the roadways and flooded into nearby basements.




A water main break near the intersection of St. Paul and Inspecteur streets resulted in traffic chaos in Montreal Thursday morning as commuters tried to get to work.


Comment by Howard on May 10, 2013 at 4:09am

Water Main Break Floods San Diego Suburb (May 7)
A water main burst underneath a North Park street Monday, sending thousands of gallons of water flooding onto neighboring streets.

The water buckled the street and sidewalk while neighbors frantically tried to save their belongings as water flowed into nearby homes.

North Park resident TJ Linnard described it as a geyser shooting 20 feet in the air.

“We just didn’t believe it was happening,” Linnard said. “Walked over here and saw the ground crack.”




Comment by Howard on April 30, 2013 at 11:15pm

Rash of water main breaks across the U.S. over the past 48 hours showing the diagonal stress on N. America.

A.  Ishpeming, Michigan (Apr 28)

B.  Madison Alabama (Apr 28)

C. Charlotte, North Carolina (Apr 29)

D.  Carlisle, Pennsylvania (Apr 29)

E.  Ackley, Iowa (Apr 30)

F.  Plymouth, Michigan (Apr 30)

G. San Ysidro, California (Apr 30)

H. Tulsa, Oklahoma (Apr 30)

Comment by Howard on April 30, 2013 at 12:00am

Burst Water Main in UK Forms 45-Ft Geyser (Apr 29)
Water was sent shooting high up in the air after a water main burst in "spectacular" style.

Residents were forced to put out sandbags to stop flooding in Chestnut Avenue, Wokingham, on Sunday morning.

The supply to homes had to be switched off for a short time while engineers worked at the scene in Berkshire to stop the flow of water.

Paul Viney, who lives nearby, said he believed the water was spurting up to about 45ft (14m) for two hours.

South East Water said it was alerted at about 07:40 BST and a technician was on the scene within an hour who managed to turn the water supply off some time later.
Hole in road

The damage was repaired and supplies were returned to the 34 properties affected by 13:30 BST.

Mr Viney said: "It was quite spectacular. I have never seen anything like it. It was a pretty big burst of water gushing out.

"Residents were putting out sandbags to try and prevent driveways flooding.

"There was a one foot wide hole left in the road."

The hole in the road was repaired with the carriageway reopened by about 15:00 BST.

Steve Benton, distribution manager at South East Water, said: "We would like to apologise to our customers who were affected by the incident yesterday and thank them for their patience.

"It was a spectacular burst and our staff did a great job turning off the water supply and carrying out the repair work so quickly."



Comment by Howard on April 17, 2013 at 6:53am

Enormous Hot Water Geyser From Ruptured Water Main in Russia (Apr 11)

A hot water pipe that runs under the main square in the city of Smolensk burst during the day, flooding the area filled with cars in boiling water.

A couple hundred miles west of Moscow, the artificial geyser's eruption threw tons of trash and stones as large as a building bricks into the air, damaging cars and scaring onlookers.

People were going about their business next to a collective-farm area when a fissure in the pavement began spitting steam. Seconds later the little perforation split open to unleash a mephitic torrent of boiling water that soared above the rooftops of nearby three-story buildings.




Comment by Howard on April 15, 2013 at 5:05am

Massive Water Main Break Inundates Akron Ohio Neighborhood (Apr 12)

(Follow-up on Kojima's report yesterday)

Crews from the city of Akron used front end loaders to dig out homes along Valley Street on Friday as the clean-up got underway following a massive water main break on Thursday.

The break sent a river of water and mud into nearby neighborhoods, submerging cars and pouring filth as much as six feet deep into some basements.

On Gold Street, the rushing water collapsed the foundation of one home that was left uninhabitable.

Power and gas service to the affected homes remained out on Friday as Akron housing inspectors began assessing the damage.

Dale Bench was there as the water was rising and was able to go into his Valley Street house on Friday.

“All the electric and all the gas is off in all these residences around here and to some of the commercial buildings,” said Bench. “We are in the process of trying to get those turned back on. Each building has to be inspected.”

Bench said the street looked like Niagara Falls after the water started gushing after 6 p.m. on Thursday.

“For real, we don’t have flood insurance,” said Bench. “Who has flood insurance on a rental? Who would ever think it would flood down here like this? You got four man holes so was it negligence…was it negligence or was it a flood.”

Neighbors continued to share their experiences on Friday.

“It sounded like it was raining, but I looked out the window and you couldn’t see no rain so I went up to the window and looked out the window and it was flooded, water everywhere,” said Kari Jiminez. “I was worried because you could hear it going into the basement from the outside, so we didn’t know what was going to happen.”

City crews were also cleaning up the debris at the massive hole opened up at the site of the break.

The water undermined the foundation of a local extruding company building which could not operate its shop on Friday.

St. Vincent-St. Mary School was also closed on Friday because of the break.

The Red Cross was maintaining a shelter for residents who had nowhere else to go.

A boil water advisory remained in effect from western Akron through Copley and Fairlawn.

“This is a 36 inch water main, plus it’s under a lot of pressure. This water main serves almost all of west Akron, so when it went you get a lot of water out of a 36 inch water main,” said Jim Weber, Construction Manager for the City of Akron.

Sources with video


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