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 Derrick Johnson 21 hours ago

Cabrillo Bridge reopened to vehicles after water main break on El Prado in Balboa Park

SAN DIEGO - The Cabrillo Bridge is back open to vehicles after being closed for hours while crews repaired a large water main break in Balboa Park.

The break was reported Sunday morning on a 36-inch water main on El Prado just east of Sixth Avenue.

A hydraulics crew from the city's Public Utilities Department shut down the main. A spokesman said the large main has very high water pressure and the shutdown process was slow so as not to cause more damage to the water system. No customers were without water service during the repairs.

The repairs were completed and the bridge reopened to vehicular traffic just before 6 p.m.

Source: http://www.10news.com/news/water-main-break-on-el-prado-in-balboa-p...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on Friday

Water Main Break Reportedly Flooding Basements In Ross Twp.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A water main break sent water gushing down a street in Ross Township, and caused some flooding problems for nearby residents.

The break happened around 7 p.m. on Babcock Boulevard and Roderick Drive, just across the street from the Shoppes at Northway.

Firefighters worked to keep the water from flooding homes at the bottom of the hill.

West View Water Authority crews were called out to turn off the water and fix the break.

There’s no word yet on how bad the damage is.

Source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/08/28/water-main-break-reported...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on Wednesday

Water main break leaves Noe Valley residents without water for 7 hours

Paul Chambers/KTVU.com


A water main break in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood had people without water for seven hours Tuesday.

“It was gushing it was pouring down that whole side," says Alan Rosenzweig of San Francisco. 

From 3:30 p.m., until after 9 Tuesday night, crews from San Francisco Water Department worked efficiently to find out what caused the break that flooded 28th Street between Castro and Diamond. 

“At a time like this it's kind of unfortunate to have all of this water being wasted. So I actually grabbed some buckets and tried to capture as much as I could of it,” says Rosenzweig. 

“We are very conscious of how much water is in the system and we are in a drought. So our guys are very fast they come in and turn it off,” says Alison Kastana spokeswoman for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.  

For hours crews pounded the street, digging up the asphalt which neighbors say is less than a year old.  

“They were trying to find out where was the water coming from. They saw it gushing out but they didn't know what was broken or where,” says Catherine Scosseria of San Francisco. 

Finally the crews found the cause, a four inch split in the bottom of a pipe that was installed in 1927. The break also caused a part of the street to buckle and water continued to flow.

“The pipes are under pressure so when they break they do cause some push. Sometimes that's a little up well in the pavement,” says Kastana.

The PUC said there are 12,000 miles of pipes running underneath San Francisco, some that date back to 1903.  Each year crews replace 15 miles of pipe, but with an aging infrastructure breaks aren't that uncommon.

“Right now there are still old pipes in the system and this is what happens. They last a long time but sooner or later they do actual fail due to age," says Kastana.  

The PUC says the pipe might have ruptured as a result of Sunday's earthquake.

Source: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/water-main-break-leaves-some-sa...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on August 26, 2014 at 6:48am

City Of Tulsa Working To Repair Numerous Water Main Breaks

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Water main breaks have been popping up all over town and that's causing a headache for the Tulsa Water Department. The breaks can take anywhere from a couple of hours to whole days to fix.

The breaks are happening all over Tulsa. Officials say they had 16 breaks Sunday and several more since midnight. Crews have repaired ten of those broken lines and are working on the rest.

Sometimes the breaks cause crews to cut off water to nearby businesses and homes, making it quite the inconvenience for those living and working in the areas.

Broken Arrow resident, Glenn Horst said, "I just showed up and it's closed. I guess the water main has everything shut down in this area, I guess."

Water main breaks all across town, including one at 21st and Garnett, had people turning away from local businesses Sunday and Monday.

"I bet this is a lot of inconvenience for this whole block,” Horst said.

An inconvenience Water Distribution Section Manager, Rick Caruthers, said is hard to avoid in a town like Tulsa.

Rick Caruthers, Water Distribution Section Manager "It's just, we've got a massive system, we've got 22 hundred miles of water line, and some of that line is 75 years old,” he said. "It's hot, it's August, this is a busy time for us. Fortunately, this August has been pretty mild up to the last few days."

The last few days just so happen to be some of the hottest parts of summer, with temperatures hitting near triple digits, but the city said it's working on a project to fix the overall system.

"The city of Tulsa water department is just beginning an asset management program which is going to look at all the breaks we've had. It's going to go in and identify the areas that we need to go in and replace those lines,” Caruthers said.

The programs would call for replacing about 20 miles of line a year.
Source: http://www.newson6.com/story/26363471/city-of-tulsa-working-to-repa...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on August 23, 2014 at 8:00am

Water main break floods area near Sand Piper and Tower

Updated: 08/22/2014 5:43 PM | Created: 08/22/2014 5:22 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A water main break that occurred around 1:45 p.m. Friday at Sand Piper and Tower in southwest Albuquerque has flooded the area.

Parents picking kids up from school had a few issues getting through semi-flooded streets, but there were few traffic issues.

Crews say they are planning to shut of the water to the actual leak, though it's not clear at this point if water service will be cut off to homes.

Source: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3540373.shtml#.U_gsPWM09rs

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on August 22, 2014 at 7:41am

Second Denver water main break in a week

(Photo: Andy Buck, KUSA)

KUSA- For the second time in a week, a water main break disrupted Denver streets and businesses. This time, it was a busy stretch of Colorado Boulevard between Louisiana and Arkansas Avenues.

That created a waterlogged traffic nightmare that backed up drivers at least a half mile.

"It stinks," said Jason Duvall, who was driving in traffic. "I've seen wrecks close it down before, but not this."

A 12-inch pipeline, installed in 1955, busted. Witnesses said it unleashed streams of water.

"This whole sidewalk was overflowing with water," said David O'Neal, who witnessed the break. "And it was flowing further down Colorado Boulevard and kind of buckling over the next little area and flooding this gas station, pretty much."

Workers at that nearby gas station spent part of the afternoon cleaning up the mess, which left mud and water all over.

It's a familiar problem for Denver Water crews. Last Saturday, a pipe broke on Blake Street, near Coors Field, forcing the cancellation of the Rockies game that night.

"Unfortunately, they happen and even more unfortunately, it's just been bad timing on both of these breaks-between the Rockies game and then right before rush hour this afternoon," said Denver Water spokesperson Travis Thompson.

Denver's water system is aging. It is more than a hundred years old in some spots. The city says it has a maintenance program, designed to improve pipes before they break. However, it isn't always able to get to them in time.

"When you think about it, it's underneath the ground, it's underneath the streets," Thompson said. "It's not like you can just pull it all out overnight, upgrade it, fix it, put a new pipe in it. It really does take time."

Denver water said it tries to rehab as many old pipes as possible by relining them with new concrete, but it's still very hard to know where the next break will happen.

Water is expected to be restored to the area by midnight. Colorado Boulevard is expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Friday.

Source: http://www.9news.com/story/news/2014/08/21/denver-water-main-break-...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on August 18, 2014 at 8:15am

Crews repairing water main break that flooded road in Seaport District

A water main break this morning dumped hundreds of gallons of water onto Northern Avenue, flooding part of Boston’s Seaport District, authorities said.

At 7:30 a.m. A 30-inch water main broke in the area of 100-104 Northern Ave. at about 7:30 a.m., said Boston Water and Sewer Commission spokeswoman Danielle Domingos.

“Some people in the area of reported low water pressure but no one is without water,” Domingos said.

She said officials isolated the pipe to prevent any further flooding.

“They can open up the pipe, replace it, and fill it by the end of end of business today and then overnight, take out the asphalt and repave,” she said. “Hopefully by tomorrow morning, at the latest Monday, it should look new.”

The morning’s break was not expected to affect any of the surrounding businesses and there were no power outages reported.

Boston Fire Department personnel were on scene to assist city engineers and utility companies and to go over plans for repair.

Fire officials said the drop in water pressure set off numerous trouble alarms in nearby buildings’ fire alarm systems. They also had to cut electricity at several construction sites in the area. Water pressure was back to normal around 10:30 a.m.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the break.

Source: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/08/crews_r...

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Comment by Howard on August 15, 2014 at 4:12am

Emergency Water Main Repairs in Massachusetts Cause Mandatory Water Restrictions (Aug 14)

Only 70 miles north of today's water main disaster in New London CT, emergency repairs are being performed on a 60-inch water main resulting in mandatory water restrictions in for Springfield, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Agawam and Ludlow.

The major transmission line delivers water from Provin Mountain Reservoir to Springfield and surrounding communities.

Under the mandatory water restriction, Mulvaney said customers are asked to avoid all outdoor watering activities and be conscientious of non-essential water use.

Mulvaney says there’s no timetable for how long the ban may last.

“We are looking at repair options right now so it’s hard to say. I’m think probably a few days,” Mulvaney said.

Residents are likely to see a drop in water pressure while repairs are ongoing.

The water commission said it will provide updates as soon as they're available.






Comment by Howard on August 15, 2014 at 3:35am

State of Emergency Declared After Massive Water Main Break in Connecticut, Following 2.7 Earthquake (Aug 14)

The site of the New London water main break in Bates Woods Park, a half mile from Chester Street in New London Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.

The mayor of New London declared a state of emergency after a 20-inch water main broke, saying residents may lose water for several days.

The city’s public utilities director issued a mandatory restriction to all non-essential water use for New London and the neighboring town of Waterford.

Mayor Daryl Finizio said that the city was losing  water at the rate of 8,000 gallons per minute, or 10 million gallons per day when the break was first discovered.

“This exceeds our capacity and as a result we are expecting significant reductions in water pressure if not complete loss of water to the city,”

The city uses 7 million gallons of water a day, he said.

Shortly after 7:00pm local time, the citywide mandatory water restriction was lifted.

“At 7:06 p.m. today, on the advice of Public Utilities Director Joseph Lanzafame, I lifted the State of Emergency which has been in effect since 8:13 this morning,” Finizio said in a statement. “I want to thank all City staff who responded so quickly and ably, and whose hard work allowed us to avert a catastrophic incident just in the nick of time.”

This was nearly a catastrophic system failure. If it had taken us an hour or an hour and a half longer to locate the break, we would have reached a point of no return. Residents and businesses throughout New London would have been without clean water for the next month.”

Lanzafame said officials had been losing a foot of water each hour from storage tanks before they found and mostly contained the leak.

"It would have been a very big disaster. It would have taken us months to recover," he said.

Before the emergency was lifted, Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy activated the state's Emergency Operations Center and the state sent more than 1,100 meals ready to eat and more than 1,400 one-liter bottles of water in case they were needed.

It was a worst-case scenario the city was hoping to avoid. After discovering the water main break in a 20-inch cast iron transmission pipe deep in a marshy wooded area, workers isolated the problem, shutting off valves and using an inflatable bladder.

Mayor Daryl Finizio said, “When that bladder is inserted it will shut the affected area off entirely and stop the leak, which also should simultaneously restore water to the areas that have been affected that are currently out.”

Workers believe recent flash flooding, not this morning's 2.7 earthquake, caused the pipe to crack.

Hundreds of people in Deep River and Chester said they woke up to find their homes shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 2.7-magnitude earthquake early Thursday morning. It's epicenter was in the center of Deep River.

Some people said they even felt the rumbling as far away as New London.







Comment by Howard on August 12, 2014 at 5:45am

Water Tower Collapses in Shelby County, Kentucky (Aug 9)

A water tower collapsed in eastern Shelby County on Saturday and officials are trying to determine how it happened.

"It reminds you of a tsunami-type wave of water. It just came across and took everything in its path with it," said James Riddle with the Waddy Fire District.

The Waddy Baptist Church was damaged and debris was strewn around Waddy Road.

Waddy fire officials said the tower, located in a field behind a church, fell around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, sending 100,000 gallons of water into the neighborhood.

"I just heard a big loud boom. I thought it was a tornado at first," said Waddy Road resident Keno Turner.

Turner's surveillance video captured the frightening scene as he and his wife stepped outside to see water rushing toward their home.

"I just couldn't believe it when I saw it, but I saw it when I stepped out. So it's just something that you never really expect. It just shocked me, I've never seen anything like it before," said Turner.

Pieces of wood, glass and even a riding lawn mower were left in his yard. The lawn mower came from the church, which suffered the most damage.

Neil McKinney, a deacon at Waddy Baptist Church, said the basement where they hold Sunday school was flooded.

"The refrigerator was turned over, the windows were blown out. The doors have been pushed through. The siding on the side of the church was taken off. We're worried about the structure. It's an older church and it was a strong force that come through there," said McKinney.

McKinney said the youth building next door was crushed in and pushed off its foundation. He said he thinks it will be a complete loss.

"We're a small community and this is a home church. There are a lot of families that go here," said McKinney. "So it's sad to see something like this, but we're just glad no one was around to get hurt."





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