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 November 14, 2014 at 4:32am

A few of the more dramatic water main breaks in the U.S. today. 

Water Main Break Creates 30-Foot Geyser In Oklahoma (Nov 13) 

A broken 10-inch water main in a parking lot in the 5100 block of South 103rd East Avenue created a 30-foot geyser. 


Walnut Creek California Water Pipe Creates 80-Ft Geyser (Nov 13) 

Thousands of gallons of water shot nearly 80 feet in the sky in downtown Walnut Creek early Thursday morning. 


Water Main Break Causes Flood in San Anselmo, California (Nov 13) 

Residents in San Anselmo are used to floods, just not as accustomed to those caused by broken water pipes. 

"Saw water on both sides of the street and getting high fast," said Karl Christoffersen, who works at Seawood Photo on Tunstead Avenue. He showed KTVU his home video that he took as fountains of water spewed from the pavement near the store. 

"It looked like the street had been lifted up maybe a foot almost," Christoffersen said, "And then we saw the water kind of shooting up out of the cracks in the street." 


Comment by Howard on November 12, 2014 at 5:17am

Sampling of water main breaks across the U.S. in the past 48 hours.

20-inch Water Main Breaks - Nov 11
Clayton, MO

A water main break in Clayton is causing a major traffic backup. The 20-inch break happened Tuesday morning at Hanley and Carondelet.

Work is expected to last approximately five months.


Water Main Break Buckles Road - Nov 11

Richmond Heights, OH

The water main break happened at about 5 p.m. and water overtook two of the northbound lanes on Richmond Road.

Willard Freeman, who lives nearby said water was gushing so high from the main break it was nearly hitting the traffic light.


Broken Water Main Floods Street - Nov 11
Riverside, CA

Kathy Roney said she was awakened about 6 a.m. by police ringing her doorbell and shouting.

"It wasn't until I opened the door that I heard the sound of rushing water," Roney said. "When it started getting halfway up my yard I started getting concerned."


Water Mian Break Opens Giant Hole in Road - Nov 11
Springfield, MA

A quiet Springfield street is now split apart by a giant hole due to a morning water main break.


Water Main Break Closes Road - Nov 10
Eagle, Colorado


10-Inch Water Main Blows - Nov 10
Aspen Hill, MD


Comment by Howard on November 7, 2014 at 4:39am

More significant water main breaks in the U.S. today. 

Major Water Main Break Leads to Evacuations in Manchester, NH


Broken Water Main Sends Geyser in Texas 

Water Main Break Floods Florida Neighborhood 


Comment by Howard on November 6, 2014 at 5:18am
Comment by Derrick Johnson on October 24, 2014 at 7:54am

Water main ruptures near Anaheim elementary school

A water main across the street from an elementary school burst Tuesday afternoon in Anaheim.

The ruptured water main was reported at about 2:45 p.m. in the 5000 block of East Gerda Drive, across the street from Crescent Elementary. Students at the school had already been let out for the day.

Anaheim Power and Water crews arrived by 3 p.m. to turn off the water. By 5 p.m., water continued to flow.

Crews were worried about what may happen if they turned the water off, as the break was located near a pressure regulating station. A water production crew was dispatched to deal with the shut off.

Officials initially estimated that the 10-inch water main would take about three to four hours to repair. Temporary street and water-main repairs were expected to be completed by 6 a.m.

About 24 homes in the area were affected. By 8:30 p.m. all customers had their water restored.

Source: http://abc7.com/news/water-main-ruptures-near-anaheim-school/363534/

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on October 17, 2014 at 7:38am

Water main break causes O'side sinkhole

Northbound lanes closed on El Camino Real

The northbound lanes of El Camino Real at Mesa Drive in Oceanside remained shut down Thursday, a day after a massive sinkhole opened across the busy roadway.

Most of the lanes could remain closed for as long as a week, as crews work to repair the busted 30-inch water main that caused the sinkhole — estimated at roughly 20-feet by 13-feet on the road surface, and as deep as 10-feet. The broken pipe also sent a torrent of water into the street Wednesday evening.

To make the repairs, authorities have closed all northbound lanes of El Camino Real between Oceanside Boulevard and Mesa Drive.

Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director, said crews are hoping to be able to open at least one northbound lane on Friday. But there is a complication: a large storm drain pipe that runs atop the busted 30-inch water main is also damaged, a discovery crews made Thursday.

Crews won’t know what caused the rupture until they dig deep enough to reach the pipe, but Dale said she suspects corrosion of a flange on the pipe may be to blame. A similar problem led to a sinkhole — 6-feet by 8-feet on the road surface, and about 15-feet deep — on North River Road last November.

Dale said it could take a week for all the fixes to be made at the El Camino Real site and for the road to be fully reopened. Water users in the area have not been affected, she said.

Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/16/sinkhole-oceanside-water...

Google Maps

Comment by Derrick Johnson on October 13, 2014 at 7:10am

Water main break causes traffic troubles for several hours on I-90EB


CLEVELAND- Drivers traveling on I-90 eastbound at E. 55th Saturday night ran into some problems after the highway was flooded.

The E. 55th exit was closed in both directions for a time, but at 10:30 p.m., everything was reopened.

The City of Cleveland Division of Water updated FOX 8 on the cause. They said it was a 12-inch water main break that caused the problem.

Source: http://fox8.com/2014/10/11/police-ask-drivers-to-avoid-i-90-eb-at-e...

Google Maps

Comment by Derrick Johnson on October 12, 2014 at 5:55am

Foothill residents, crews dig out flooded homes after water main break

Estimated 2.5 million gallons escaped from high-capacity line

SALT LAKE CITY — At least four homes were temporarily uninhabitable Saturday after a broken water main left them flooded overnight.

Residents made arrangements to stay with family or friends while crews began piecing the roads, yards and homes back together.

"Salt Lake City has a no-fault ordinance that allows us to take care of the problem and restore things as best we can," said Tom Ward, deputy director for the city's Department of Public Utilities. "Obviously it's a mess here today, but we'll take care of it."

Approximately 35 structures reported some kind of damage related to the broken 48-inch pipeline that runs underneath the intersection at 1700 South and Foothill Drive. Salt Lake City officials estimate 2.5 million gallons escaped from the high-capacity line.

At least eight buildings, Ward said, have interior water damage, including the Montessori Community School, which has been at 2416 E. 1700 South since 2005.

"We have so many shelves and wooden materials, it could be thousands of dollars," said Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan, owner and head of the school. She said water gushed through the yard and into the school through a window well in the back and reached up to 8 inches in some places.

Eriwata-Buchanan was overcome with emotion as she assessed the work that will need to be done before normal schooling can continue.

"It'll be fine," she said. "We'll be OK."

The school will be closed Monday, however, as staff tries to salvage what they can from the muddy mess.

Electricity was also off at some of the affected buildings, to avoid additional problems, according to the Salt Lake City Fire Department, which was assisting in the cleanup process. Water from the pipeline was reportedly shut off within an hour of the 8:30 p.m. break on Friday, however, the pipe continued to drain throughout the night.

"I've never seen anything quite like that," said Dale Angell, who lives on 1700 South. "It was rushing through here like crazy and the neighbor's yard was visiting as it came through and there were bowling ball-size rocks rolling through with it."

In addition to mud and water, large pieces of concrete and plants were pushed from home to home.

David Jenen and his wife had just completed renovating a home on the street to sell. He said some water leaked through the foundation, but overall, "we got off lucky."

"It was bad, but OK," he said. "Now we're in the cleanup phase and we'll get it back on the market."

The cause of the break remains under investigation, although Ward said that big pipes work best with a lot of applied pressure.

"The bigger the pipe, the more force that pressure has," he said. The city planned to finish repairing the pipe by the end of the day Saturday and would begin surface restoration on Sunday.

Landscaping and other work would continue as necessary, and the city was heading up all repairs.

Ward said he hoped to open the road to traffic prior to the Monday morning commute.

Source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865612925/Foothill-residents-cre...

Google Maps

Comment by Derrick Johnson on October 9, 2014 at 7:22am

Several water main breaks close Santa Ana streets, college classes in Mission Viejo

Officials did not disclose what may have caused four pipes to break starting early Tuesday.

Santa Ana Public Works workers crane in a new section of pipe as they fix a broken water main on West 17th Street near Alona Street on Wednesday morning.


Four water mains broke in Orange County starting early Tuesday caused street closures and a community college campus to shut down, officials said.

The first water main break was discovered by Saddleback College maintenance staff a little after 4 a.m. Tuesday, as water bubbled out from cracks in the ground near the Advanced Technology & Applied Science building at the north end of the Mission Viejo campus, college spokeswoman Jennie McCue said.

The college shut off water on campus about 1 p.m. to repair the water main, which is 10 to 12 feet underground, McCue said. All students and faculty were asked to leave the campus Tuesday and Wednesday because there was no running water.

McCue said she didn’t know how much water leaked.

Classes are expected to resume Thursday, she said.

The next leak was found in Santa Ana at around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 1800 block of West 17th Street.

Authorities found two, and later a third, main water lines broken for unknown reasons and a sinkhole on West 17th Street caused by the water damage.

Officials worked initially to shut off the water before starting repairs that lasted throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday afternoon.

Fred Mousavipour, the city’s public works director, said workers repaired one leak by 10 p.m. Tuesday and another at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday. After officials fixed the second break, they noticed a third leak on a nearby pipe. Officials planned to have the last leak repaired mid-Wednesday afternoon.

Mousavipour said the pipe is 56 years old and public works officials have not yet determined why the lines leaked. The usual cause is age and damage caused by vibrations from use over time, he said.

Drivers should expect delays on West 17th Street near the damage site. Only one lane of traffic will be open until repairs are complete, officials said.

An undisclosed number of Santa Ana water customers who lost service because of the damaged lines and were expected to have reconnected service before Thursday.

The broken pipes between the cities do not seem to be related.

Source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/water-637746-street-wednesday.html

Google Maps

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on October 9, 2014 at 2:05am


Burst water pipe causes road to collapse

No injuries have been reported however, Metro Police are at the scene.

The road, which collapsed.

It has been reported that a burst water pipe on the corner of 25th Avenue and Umhlatuzana Drive in Chatsworth has caused half of the road to collapse, earlier this morning. The road has been cordoned off and residents and motorists are urged to use alternative routes. No injuries have been reported however, Metro Police are at the scene.



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