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 September 2, 2013 at 10:41pm

Wyoming Water Main Ruptures 3 Times, Creates 70-ft Geyser (Aug 31)
A 12-inch main water line near Riverton Country Club sprung a leak Saturday, not once, not twice, but three separate times.

The pipe’s first leak around 4 p.m. Saturday sent a geyser of water 70 feet into the air and city crews initially reduced the flow of the line to prevent the golf course from flooding and planned to fix it on Sunday.

Warpness and City Administrator Steven Weaver inspected the leak that afternoon. “The amount of potable water rushing out of the break didn’t make sense to us, and a resident had complained they had no water at all, so the decision was made to fix it that evening."

The mayor said he returned to the site at 9 p.m. and said the leak had been repaired, but another one occurred in the same line just 50 feet away. City crews fixed that leak on Sunday morning, but then a third blow out occurred. “With three leaks in one section of pipe, I think it’s a time bomb waiting to happen,” Warpness said. “There must be something in the soil there that is acting on the iron pipe.”



Comment by Howard on September 2, 2013 at 10:24pm

Water Main Breaks Plague St. Louis Missouri (Sep 1)

Multiple streets were flooded in north St. Louis as more than a dozen water mains have ruptured in recent days.

Crews with the St. Louis Water Department continue to work through the night to fix the water mains as some residents are without water inside their homes.

Dozens of families are going on day two of no running water after a 20 inch water main broke just north of the Edward Jones Dome on August 31.  Water started bubbling up at the corner of 7th and Biddle and flowed into nearby streets. Residents are told it will be sometime September 2 before it's fixed and the water is back on.

"No water to drink, thirsty and it's very hot," says Bogard. "It's the same thing for in here, now water in there, the tub, can't brush your teeth, wash your face, toilet don't flush."

He says it's been like this since Saturday morning. That's when just down the street from his apartment the city water division says a 20 inch water main broke.

Some residents called Alisha Franklin who is with the St. Louis Housing Authority. She says she's been in contact with the Cambridge Heights property manager.

"They called the City of St. Louis and put out two Johnny on the Spots (portable toilets) for them, they are bringing in a water wagon so they can have fresh water and access to water," says Franklin.

“Crews are out 16 hours, relieving each other,” said Vincent Foggie with the St. Louis City Water Department.

Foggie said crews have been working since August 29 to fix the broken water mains.





Comment by Howard on September 1, 2013 at 5:35am

Water Main Break in Birmingham Alabama (Aug 31)

Crews from the Birmingham Water Works labored through the early afternoon to plug a hole in a water main that created ageyser in the Roosevelt City neighborhood for more than eight hours today.

A neighborhood resident called police, reporting the sound of an explosion, at about 6 a.m., a police officer on the scene said. Water Works personnel were on the scene in Roosevelt City Park by 9 a.m. and brought in heavy equipment at about 1:30. A police officer estimated the height of the column of water at as much as 80 feet.

The cause of the break in the water main was not clear, though a Birmingham police officer at the scene said there was no indication that anyone had been digging at the site.

The crew's first attempt to place a metal clamp over the hole in the 10-inch pipe failed when the water, under high pressure, blew out a rubber lining on the clamp. Workers said the hole in the pipe was between two and three inches in diameter.

A second attempt to put a wrap-around clamp over the hole in the pipe succeeded at about 2:40 p.m.

Water Works employees referred questions to an agency spokeswoman. Efforts to reach the spokeswoman were not immediately successful.



Comment by Howard on August 28, 2013 at 4:26am

Sampling of water main breaks in the U.S. over the past week.


Comment by Howard on August 20, 2013 at 5:25am

Water Main Erupts in Northern Virginia (Aug 18)

Chunks of asphalt, rocks, mud, and other debris were left behind after a geyser erupted on Catalpa Court in Dale City.

A water main break Sunday night on the neighborhood street in the Catbrier Heights section near Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Station 10 on Dale Boulevard left at least 50 townhomes without water.

Witnesses said the geyser shot at least 10 feet into the air. In its wake, a 10-foot wide sinkhole was created where the main ruptured.

“There was water everywhere,” said William Golden, who shot a video of the geyser. “No one has been able to drive on the street since it erupted.”

Dodging police tape set up around the sinkhole, several residents were seen walking and carrying groceries and other necessities in plastic bags to their homes.

The cause of the eruption was unknown late Sunday night.




Comment by Howard on August 17, 2013 at 4:44am

Water Main Explodes in Southeastern UK (Aug 17)

A water fountain to ‘rival the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas’ sprung up in Charing following a water main burst.

What started as a 20ft high water spout, described as having the strength of a firefighter’s hose, soon became a raging torrent - thought to be around 50ft high.

Rubble was sent flying and a crater was left in the surface of the road following the incident.

More than 100 shocked residents of Charing crowded the High Street throughout the late evening yesterday after the rupture, which happened at around 9pm.

High Street resident Simon Clubley, 49, said: “The water spurt started in the middle of the road, and just got bigger and bigger.

“We didn’t hear any bang, but there was a lot of noise from the water.

“It was like a rocket going up in the sky, and within minutes it was reaching at least 50ft.

“It was really spectacular, more impressive than the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas.

“This was not just a leak, it was phenomenal. There was tarmac raining down all over the road, as well as flint from below.

“Most of the village came out to watch, and I guess there were around 100 people watching at various points.”



Cover-up Version:


Comment by Howard on August 14, 2013 at 12:13am

Massive Geyser in San Antonio Texas (Aug 13)
A water main break caused quite the spectacle on Tuesday afternoon near the Alamodome.

What looked liked a geyser could be seen from I-37. The water was shooting at least 40 feet into the air from a water main break at the intersection of Hoefgen Avenue and Carolina Street.

San Antonio Water System workers were trying to stop the gusher around 4:30 p.m. SAWS said they do not know what caused the break and are unsure how many customers and businesses are affected.



Comment by Howard on August 12, 2013 at 1:59pm

Water Main Break Roils Downtown Boston (Aug 12)

A massive water main break shut down Tremont Street at Mass Ave early Monday morning.

The outbound part of Tremont Street was closed to drivers. Traffic on Mass Ave opened to commuters even as water continued to come out of the street.

The water main break happened just after 4 o’clock in the morning. At that point, water was gushing from the break onto Tremont Street at Mass Ave with force, moving a lot of debris including bricks and portions of concrete up and out of the way leaving a mess.

Crews worked to shut the water off but due to the pressure of the erupting water, a portion of the street had already buckled.





Comment by Mark on August 7, 2013 at 11:11am

London suburb wakes up under THREE FEET of water after massive leak from mains


The centre of a London suburb woke up under a metre water this morning after a burst water main caused chaos.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to Herne Hill in south London at 5.30am this morning after water began rising above waist height.

Cars, bus stops and shops are half-submerged at the junction of Herne Hill and Half Moon Lane, where people in 36 homes were stuck.

Residents have been forced to stay indoors while other trying to get to work waded through the flood carrying people on their backs.

Comment by KM on July 31, 2013 at 3:02am


30 July 2013
A giant geyser of water came crashing down on buildings, destroying homes and sweeping away cars after a burst water main released a torrent of water over a residential area near Rio de Janeiro.

One child has died and dozens of people have been injured after a burst water main released a torrent of water over a residential area in Campo Grande, near Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.

Three-year-old, Isabela Severo dos Santos, was taken to the hospital but did not survive after swallowing large amounts of water.

According to authorities seven people remain hospitalised.

Local television showed images of a giant fountain of water crashing down on buildings, destroying homes and sweeping away cars in the ensuing current.

People could be seen wading through the floodwaters trying to climb on to a roof. The burst pipeline, operated by State Company for Water and Wastewater (Cedae), has now been shut down but large volumes of water are still leaking and continue to flood the neighbourhood.


See also: Ruptured Water Main Destroys Rio de Janeiro Suburb

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