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 March 2, 2014 at 4:29am

Record numbers of water main breaks from Iowa to Maryland in the past month.

Green Bay, Wisconsin - Number of water main breaks close to reaching records (Mar 1)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Number of Milwaukee water main breaks pass record, keep rising (Feb 28)

Cleveland, Ohio  - Record number of water main breaks keeps crews working overtime (Feb 28)

St. Joesph, Michigan - St. Joseph breaks record for water main breaks (Feb 26)

Marshalltown, Iowa - Record number of water main breaks (Feb 27)

Iowa City, Iowa - Iowa City to see record number of water main breaks (Feb 20)

Quad Cities, Iowa-Illinois - QCA sees record number of water main breaks (Feb 11)

Northeast Ohio - Record Number of Water Main Breaks throughout NEO (Feb 13)

Bloomington, Illinois - Bloomington Sees a Record Number of Water Main Breaks (Feb 14)

Baltimore, Maryland - Amid record water main breaks, Baltimore residents await fixes (Feb 4)

Comment by Mark on February 28, 2014 at 10:28am

Homes in South London are flooded with filthy water as pipe bursts in busy road


Homes were flooded with filthy water after a main burst, spewing sewage down a main road in London.

A series of pictures and videos were posted on Twitter showing the murky deluge flowing down Clapham Road in Kennington, south London.

There were initial reports that a sewage pipe had sprung a leak, causing a torrent of excrement to cascade down the road.

One policeman at the scene described it as 'stinky sewage' and eyewitnesses described the water as seeping into basement flats.

But a Thames Water spokesman later said the flood was a result of a burst water main, which had mixed with silt and mud.

Resident Lewis Whyld, who posted footage online, wrote on Twitter: 'People now getting trapped by sewage in south London, firefighters evacuating properties.'

Comment by Howard on February 25, 2014 at 9:37pm

Water Mains Under Bridges Being Examined (Feb 25)

Cleveland Water crews will be inspecting all water mains under bridges, after a water main ruptured over I-90 last weekend.

The deluge of water flooded a portion of the highway and closed it for several hours over the weekend.

The rupture was at the same overpass, near the same spot where a driver from Oberlin said a piece of rusty debris fell from the bridge, crashing through his windshield, striking him in the face Feb. 7. 

On Monday Rocky River Police said they couldn't confirm, but said that piece of debris "seems to match" parts of the bridge, where joints from the pipe burst Saturday.

similar water main break occurred on an interstate highway bridge in Virginia on January 31, 2014.




Comment by Howard on February 23, 2014 at 7:12pm

Water Main Break on Bridge Closes Ohio Interstate for Hours (Feb 22)

All four lanes of Interstate 90 eastbound were closed for more than five hours after a 12-inch water main break on a bridge above the roadway spewed water over the highway.

The water main break was located underneath Valley View Drive bridge over I-90 near Hilliard Rd in Rocky River.

Eastbound traffic was backed up for miles. Motorists heading westbound were delayed as well, as often only one lane of traffic was open for them.

similar water main break occurred on an interstate highway bridge in Virginia on January 31, 2014.




Comment by Caryn D on February 14, 2014 at 3:18am


Anthony Wayne Trail reopens after water main break

Posted: Feb 13, 2014 6:32 AM ESTUpdated: Feb 13, 2014 8:51 PM EST
Much of the intersection of Glendale Avenue and the Trail was flooded Thursday morning. That water has since cleared.
Much of the intersection of Glendale Avenue and the Trail was flooded Thursday morning. That water has since cleared.
The Zinks' garage after the water main broke. (Source: Bunny Zink)
The Zinks' garage after the water main broke. (Source: Bunny Zink)
Crews were still on the scene at noon Thursday working to make repairs and get the roadway back open.
Crews were still on the scene at noon Thursday working to make repairs and get the roadway back open.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Anthony Wayne Trail is back open after a water main break closed a large portion of the roadway for several hours Thursday.

Police say they received a report of a water main break around 1:47 a.m. Thursday. City officials say a cast iron valve exploded, causing about 15 million gallons of water to gush out onto the roadway.

"It was roaring pretty good, and when I looked out the window, it was going down the Trail like a raging river, and it was pretty intense," said Bunny and Darold Zink.

The Zinks took the day off from work to clean the mess from their driveway and garage.

"Obviously, a lot of stuff in my garage - generators and motorcycle - all got flooded out," said the Zinks.

Around 1 p.m. Thursday, portions of the area that were closed off reopened. Northbound traffic on the Trail is restricted to one lane between Glendale Avenue and Sherwood Avenue while crews work to finish repairs. Glendale Avenue is shut down in both directions between the Trail and River Road.

Much of the intersection of Glendale and the Trail was flooded Thursday morning. That water has since cleared. While a city official says most of the leaking has been stopped, one valve is still spewing water.

"There is a repair going on at the location, and the contractor doing that repair had it opened. I don't know if that had anything to do with it. I don't know really the cause of it yet," said Donald Moline, public utilities commissioner.

City plows are spreading salt in the area to break up any ice that may have formed because of the water spilled from the main break. Toledo Police say some roads and sidewalks in the area could still be icy because of the water.

If you have damages you want the city to pay for, call the law department and make a claim. Although Moline says the city has liability protection, as long as they are doing things appropriately.

The city was busy working on other water main breaks throughout the city Thursday. 

Since Jan. 2, there have been 91 water main breaks around Toledo, not to mention 359 water meters exchanged, and 184 frozen water hydrants.

There are ways you can help the city. City officials say if you let your water run every once and a while, it will stop any blockages.

"The weather is so bad and the temperatures are so low that lots of people are having freezing services, but they also, we are going out to do it again and again, sometimes three times to get person back with water because they don't let their water run," said Moline.

Moline says they are looking forward to next week's warm-up to help with their problem. STill, he knows once the weather cools back down, they may be facing problems again.

Comment by Howard on February 11, 2014 at 9:39pm

While the U.S. has arguably been experiencing harsh cold in recent weeks, the number and severity of water main breaks  has been astonishing.  Below is a sampling over the past 48 hours.

Water Main Break Floods Square Mile in Detroit Michigan (Feb 11)

Flooding caused by an apparent water main break has inundated numerous streets in southwest Detroit.  Water bubbling from the street at Buchanan and McKinley, near I-96 and Warren Tuesday morning has left at least one square mile flooded with icy water.  A front-end loader was used to push a Detroit police cruiser stuck in the icy water. Fire crews rescued another stranded motorist. A taxi cab was stranded in one street.   Source

Chicago Water Main Break Leaves Cars Stuck In Ice For Days (Feb 10)

Joseph has lived on the block since 1961 and has never seen anything like this frozen mess.  A water main break more than a week ago has left some drivers with ice-encased cars.  “There was a woman stuck with a small car here and a guy he took my rope and he had to pull her out,” said Joseph.  It left Englishman Ryan Mitchell with no choice but to use an axe.  “I’ve tried everything else and it appears that this is going to be the only thing,” said Mitchell.  So he tried, first with the axe, then with more help and even hot water. He still had no luck.  “It’s ridiculous. Came out after one night and the water main had burst. No one has done anything about it,” said Mitchell.   Source

Peoria Illinois Dealing With Major Water Main Break  (Feb 10)

llinois American Water is experiencing a large main break at the intersection of NE Jefferson and Abington Street.  A 30-inch transmission main is out of service and crews are working diligently to assess the situation.  As a result, many customers in the area are experiencing an interruption in water service.  Customers in other areas of Peoria are experiencing a drop in water pressure due to the effect of the break on the distribution system.   Source

Topeka Kansas Water Main Break Cuts Off Water To Several Downtown Buildings (Feb 11)

A water main break cut off water to several buildings in downtown Topeka Tuesday morning.  The City of Topeka's water department told 13 News that the main broke near the intersection of 4th & Quincy around 5 a.m.   Source

Water Main Break on Bay City Michigan West Side Closes Five-Block Stretch (Feb 11)


Tulsa Oklahoma Water Main Breaks Keep Water Crews Busy 24-7 (Feb 11)

Milwaukee Wisconsin Water Main Breaks Worst in 5 Years (Feb 11)

North Carolina Water Main Breaks Mandate Boil Advisory (Feb 11)

175 Water Main Breaks in Des Moines Iowa This Year (Feb 11)

Wichita Falls Texas Averages Nearly 10 Water Main Breaks Per Day Since December (Feb 11)

Water Main Break Forces New Jersey Mall Closure (Feb 11)

Water Main Break Floods Homes in Fort Collins Colorado (Feb 10)

Water Main Break Closes Indiana Courthouse (Feb 10)

Hutchinson Kansas Sees 5 Water Main Breaks in Past 3 Days (Feb 10)

Water Main Break Leaves Onslow Iowa Residents with Boil Order (Feb 10)

Water Main Break Closes Street in Tampa Florida (Feb 10)

Comment by KM on February 10, 2014 at 3:52am


Bayview and Finch shut down after water main break

A water main break at Bayview and Finch in North York. CITYNEWS.

A water main break at Bayview and Finch in North York. CITYNEWS.

A section of Bayview Avenue near Finch will likely be shut down for several days after a burst water main flooded basements and created a large sinkhole in the middle of the roadway on Sunday.


Ramin, a local resident, told CityNews he heard the sound at about 6:30 a.m. and woke his wife.

“We both woke up, came downstairs … there was water coming in around the front door. There was about three feet of water coming down the steps outside.”

Muddy water streamed through the basement and first floor of Ramin’s home, soaking his Persian carpets and coating his television, DVD player, and walls in filth.

Power in the area has since been shut off, forcing he and his wife to book a hotel for Sunday night.

He is not yet sure what the cost of the damage will be.

“What are we gonna do? We can’t do anything,” said Ramin.

TTC service in the area is being diverted.

Comment by Howard on February 3, 2014 at 1:48am

Not far from where loud booms were reported in January.

Water Main on Central Virginia Bridge Breaks, Floods Interstate (Jan 31)

Crews worked overnight to repair the broken water line that caused water to gush off of a bridge onto I-64 Friday afternoon around 1:20 p.m.

The water main break closed the center and right lane at mile-marker 181.

Art Petrini, head of Henrico’s Department of Public Utilities, said a water line that runs across the bridge on Parham Road broke, sending water streaming off the bridge for about three hours.

The rushing water caused traffic to back up for two miles.

It’s still unclear what caused the break.





Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 1, 2014 at 12:10am


SE D.C. Sinkhole Could Take 7-10 Days to Repair

Portion of Massachusetts Ave. SE closed to traffic

Friday, Jan 31, 2014  |  Updated 3:06 PM EST

DDOT says a large sinkhole along Fort Dupont Park in southeast Washington could take a week to 10 days to repair. 

The sinkhole seemed to be contained to the side of the road, but officials are concerned vehicles traveling on the roadway could cause the erosion to expand to the area underneath the road. News4's Megan McGrath spotted long cracks in the pavement on Massachusetts Avenue SE, a sign the roadway may already be compromised and unsafe.

The curb has already pulled away from the road, leaving a gap between it and the roadway.

A road closure was ordered to help prevent any further damage. Massachusetts Avenue between 34th Place and N Street could be closed for days as crews shore up the sinkhole. Residents can still access their homes despite the closure.

DC Water says an 8-inch water main break caused the sinkhole; the main has since been repaired.

Drivers can use Branch Avenue or Fort Dupont as an alternate

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on January 17, 2014 at 4:46am


Water main break near Union Square forces street closures, subway disruptions

The 1800s era pipe burst on 5th Ave. near E. 13th St. Leaking began just after midnight and took five hours to bring flood of water under control. MTA has rerouted several train lines in the area.


A water main break flooded streets near Union Square and snarled transit in the area early Wednesday morning, officials said.  The force of the pipe rupturing was so powerful that it raised and ripped the asphalt above, trapping a taxi on the incline.

The 137-year-old pipe burst shortly after midnight on Fifth Ave. near 13th St., prompting 60 FDNY members to respond to the deluge of water, officials said.

Water is pumped out of a hole in the middle of Fifth Avenue after a water main bursts Wednesday in lower Manhattan, flooding between 12th and 14th Sts.

Water is pumped out of a hole in the middle of Fifth Avenue after a water main bursts Wednesday in lower Manhattan, flooding between 12th and 14th Sts.

Water from the 36-inch-wide pipe flooded a nearby parking garage that an employee said had 60 cars inside.

Water from the 36-inch-wide pipe flooded a nearby parking garage that an employee said had 60 cars inside.

Workers excavate to get to the 137-year-old water main in lower Manhattan.

Workers excavate to get to the 137-year-old water main in lower Manhattan.

The busy thoroughfare was closed between E. 12th St. and E. 14th St. as FDNY and officials with the city Department of Environmental Protection worked on containing the streaming water, fire officials said.

At least five feet of water had filled Central Parking garage on E. 13 St., even after the leak was contained. An employee who declined to give his name said about 60 cars were parked in the murky depths.

The seesawing temperatures and the 36-inch-wide cast iron line's age likely lead to the early morning accident. The pipe was installed in 1877 and dates to city's first plumbing installation, the Croton Water Supply System, a DEP official said.

It was installed the same year Crazy Horse and his warriors fought their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory.

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