Water Main Breaks Gusher in 2013/2014

"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 New Years Day, 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.

Below is a sampling of notable water main breaks and sinkholes since January 1st.


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 Friday

Water Main Erupts in Groton, Connecticut (Jul 17)

An overnight water main that burst underneath a residential road in Groton left a gaping hole behind.

The water main under Midway Oval let go early Friday morning and sent a geyser of water shooting 50' up through the roadway.

Neighbors said they were awakened when chunks of asphalt began hitting their cars and homes.  One person said the debris smashed a window on his home and the windshield of his car.

"My wife heard a loud noise. We thought nothing of it and a few minutes later we checked outside and there's huge lights and there's water flying up in the air," neighbor David Blair said.

This happened at about 2:30 a.m. Friday, and the break left about 46 homes without water.

Groton Utility crews said the 8" water main left behind a huge hole that is now full of water.  Crews are working to pump the water out so they can begin to repair the break.

"When our first man got here, he said it was pretty high," said Raymond Valentini of Groton Utilities.

When the pipe burst, it not only sent water shooting 50' high in the air, but it also scattered rocks, which landed on lawns, on cars and even took out a few windows.



Comment by Derrick Johnson on Friday

Phoenix battles 5 water-main breaks

An aging infrastructure may be to blame for five reported water-main breaks in Phoenix on Wednesday. Troy Hayes, assistant director of water services for the city, said several of the incidents involved pipes that were installed more than 80 years ago.

"Some of these were put in in 1932," he said.

RELATED: Series of water-main breaks plague Phoenix

On Wednesday, there was a 6-inch break at a housing complex on Papago Drive near Seventh Avenue, according to Victoria Welch, a water-services spokeswoman. The water was restored around 11:30 a.m. and the backfill and cleanup had begun, but as the response crew was preparing to leave, the main broke again.

There was a 4-inch break on 55th Avenue and Baseline Road. Welch said no customers were impacted. Meanwhile, an 8-inch main break on 16th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard flooded the intersection and cut off water for 11 residents.

On East Washington Street, there was an 8-inch break that shut down the water service for 28 residents. Crews were called to fix another break on Seventh Street near Butler Drive.

Hayes said that after a break, crews cut off the broken segment and replaced it with a new pipe, which could last about 50 years. There is a post-repair review, in which officials determine whether the pipe will need to be replaced entirely.

Phoenix Water Services has a water-main-replacement program that evaluates pipes annually, he said. The pipes are examined for size, material and the year that they were installed to determine whether they need replacement.

This year's evaluation and review is expected to begin in August.

The 16th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard incident turned the intersection into a pool. Residents could be seen wading in murky brown water on Wednesday morning.

Officials closed Encanto Boulevard between 16th and Laurel avenues because of debris left by the flooding, Welch said.

A water-main break at the Greek Town Restaurant near Butler Drive and Seventh Street diverted three northbound lanes on Seventh Street to the shoulder as crews worked to repair the damage, Welch said.

Source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/07/17/phoeni...

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Comment by Howard on July 15, 2014 at 3:26am

Water Main Break Pummels Texas Home (Jul 11)

Jerry Manis, who was home sick, said he woke to the sound of glass breaking. At first, he thought the house was being broken into. Then he realized that water was peeling the shingles off his roof.

"I was at a loss for words, " he said. "There is nothing you can do. … Just feel helpless."

“We watched it continually get worse,” he said. “Then it started breaking up the asphalt.”

He said he and the other neighbors watched the geyser form, pointed directly at the Manis house.

“It was like a fire hose going into the Manises’ house,” Schlipf said, adding that it tore through shingles and windows.

The Fort Worth family is still staying at a hotel Monday after the water main shot out chunks of asphalt that tore through their roof and flooded several rooms.

The explosion tore apart portions of ceiling, damaged drywall in at least three rooms and ruined their belongings.

“I’m just thankful that nobody was hurt,” Amanda Manis said Monday. She said the brick house in the 6300 block of Whitman Avenue is unlivable.

The water main break caused an uproar in the neighborhood about 1 p.m. Friday, when neighbors heard a loud noise and saw water running down the street.

Freddy Schlipf, who lives across the street from the Manis family, said the roar was similar to a B-52 flyover.



Comment by Howard on July 12, 2014 at 7:42pm

Tennessee Water Main Break Creates 50-Ft Geyser (Jul 10)

A water main break on Woodland Street in Columbia blasted water 50 feet into the air Thursday morning.

CPWS Executive Director Wes Kelley said, “It was something to see.”

“We heard from a bystander the problem began about 3 a.m. He reported he saw the ground start to bubble and then it sounded like a shotgun blast and it came right up through the pavement.

Jonathan Hardin, director of water of operations for CPWS, said crews were dispatched to the scene at 5 a.m. and spent five hours repairing the break. He said crews were also handling another water main break on South Main Street at the same time.

“We saw this huge geyser shooting up in the air,” Hardin said. “I would guess it was shooting in the neighborhood of 50 or 60 feet. It was pretty high. I’ve never seen a main break of that height before. It was a pretty instantaneous release.”

The force of the main break destroyed some of the pavement in the roadway, he said.

“When we arrived, it had already broken out a 3-foot-by-3-foot section of pavement itself,” he said.



Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on July 11, 2014 at 12:45am


Southbound Armenia Ave. closed at St. Joseph St. after road collapse

TAMPA - A giant hole opened under Armenia Avenue early Thursday morning near the intersection of  W. St. Joseph Street (one block south of Columbus Drive).

Tampa Police said it appears a large water pipe ruptured causing the road to collapse.  The depression measures 40 feet by 15 feet.

All traffic southbound from Columbus Dr. will be diverted, at least throughout the weekend.  

Repairs will take a couple of days, and the road may reopen Monday afternoon.

Comment by Derrick Johnson on July 9, 2014 at 8:30am

Huge water main break in Stone Oak area

Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News : July 8, 2014 : Updated: July 8, 2014 5:36pm

SAN ANTONIO -- SAWS urgently is asking residents of the Stone Oak area to immediately discontinue outdoor water use after a large water main break Tuesday morning at Bitters Road near U.S. 281.

San Antonio Water System reported in a Twitter post a little after 11 a.m. Tuesday that a 48-inch main break had occurred because of a mechanical malfunction at the Bitters Road Well Field, which supplies water to the Stone Oak area.

A video posted on Twitter showed massive amounts of water shooting into the air and gushing from behind the Bitters Road facility. Cars could be seen driving down the road in the background.

A news release issued Tuesday afternoon said that the primary water pipeline from the former BexarMet infrastructure that serves the Stone Oak area is out, but that crews were making emergency repairs.

Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Huge-water-main-brea...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on July 9, 2014 at 8:26am

Water-main break closes 7th Avenue in downtown Phoenix

A decades-old water-main burst in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday, flooding Seventh Avenue just north of Interstate 10 and closing part of the roadway, officials said.

Authorities expect northbound Seventh Avenue to be closed well past the evening rush hour.

A city spokeswoman said the 12-inch water main burst Tuesday afternoon, the pressure which caused northbound lanes of Seventh Avenue to buckle between I-10 and Willetta Street. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area.

Troy Hayes, an engineer for the City of Phoenix, confirmed that the water main was originally installed in the 1930s.

Employees of the city's Water Services Department are working to stop the flooding and repair the main break, the spokeswoman said.

Most of the flooding occurred on Willetta Street, where Matthew Gibeau has lived for 19 years.

"First time I've seen it like this," said Gibeau, 53. "Looks like the Mississippi."

Gibeau said he walked out of his backyard to see water flowing in the roadway and skimming the curbs. The flooding mostly stayed to the street and did not extend over sidewalks or onto residential property.

Gibeau said he was disappointed to see all that water go to apparent waste.

"I think we have just wasted our water supply for the summer."

Source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/07/08/phoeni...


Comment by Howard on July 4, 2014 at 12:47am

New Jersey Water Main Break Sends Water Gushing like Geyser (Jul 3)

A large water-main break this afternoon caused water to shoot 10-15 feet in the air, prompting the closure of all exit ramps from Route 1 to Ryders Lane.

The geyser-like break occurred on Ryders Lane near Labor Road and Route 1 ramps, North Brunswick officials stated in an email alert.

Water gushed through a gaping hole in the road, pushing out rocks and debris. Before the road was closed, several rocks reportedly struck passing cars.

Officials in several townships have asked drivers to plan alternate routes as crews worked to stem the rushing water.

In East Brunswick, Ryders Lane is closed from Tices Lane to Route 1in both directions.

“The roadway is presently closed and expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future,” Rutgers police stated in an e-mail alert.



Comment by Derrick Johnson on July 1, 2014 at 7:16am

State of Emergency in Rotterdam Because of Water Main Breaks


ROTTERDAM, N.Y. -- A state of emergency is now in effect in Rotterdam because of a series of water main breaks. The biggest happened around 3:30 a.m. on Princeton street and then three more followed throughout the day.

It's estimated about 22,000 people are without water because of the breaks.

The breaks are being reported at Schermerhorn Road, the Corner of Bernard Street and Wallace Ave, and Princetown Road.

So not only is the water shut off, but a lot of streets are closed because of the construction. A lot if the Rotterdam residents are realizing just how much they take water for granted.

"I mean everyone here is, they are not bathed, they are very dirty civilians right now," said a civilian.

Not bathing is definitely a concern for a lot of people. On a more serious note, especially with this heat, the town is asking people to check on their elderly neighbors or anyone who isn't able to come out and get water for themselves.

For people that do have water, the health department said to boil it for at least one minute before using it to cook or clean.

It's expected that the breaks will be repaired by midnight Tuesday, but the town said it does not expect to have clean water into homes until Thursday.

In the meantime, there is a water tanker at the Curry Road Shopping Center filled with 8,000 gallons of water. People are bringing whatever kind of containers they have to fill up.

The tank will be available until 10 p.m. Monday, and again starting Tuesday at 8 a.m.

Source: http://albany.twcnews.com/content/news/749282/state-of-emergency-in...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on June 30, 2014 at 7:46am

Family’s Home Destroyed By Water Main Break


PITSBURGH (KDKA) – A family lost everything as water poured into their basement early Sunday morning in Lincoln Place.

Lisa DonGiovanni panicked when she heard, and then saw, hundreds of gallons of water from a broken main on Mifflin Road rushing down the hillside.

It was headed straight for her home on Keefe Street.

“It was like a river,” DonGiovanni said. “It just came down through the two yards and down into our driveway.”

Within minutes, her basement was filled with 3 feet of water, lifting her freezer and refrigerator. DonGiovanni managed to save her TV, but everything else in her basement was destroyed.

“We lost everything,” she said, “our furniture. It’s a finished basement. Our furniture, our washer, our dryer, I don’t know if the insurance company – the water company – I don’t know where I’m going to go.”

In addition, decorations and table cloths she had purchased for an upcoming graduation party were also floating in the basement. Flood waters also caused heavy damage to a Ford Explorer parked in the garage.

“We’ll just start over,” DonGiovanni said. “Nothing you can do. I did my crying already this morning.”

Source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/06/29/familys-home-destroyed-by...


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Water main break closes downtown Raleigh road


Raleigh, N.C. — A water main break forced crews to close a downtown Raleigh road Sunday afternoon.

The break ripped up asphalt on West Street from Peace to Harrington streets, police said. The block of Peace Street will be closed through the night and could still be closed Monday morning.

Source: http://www.wral.com/water-main-break-closes-downtown-raleigh-road/1... 


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Water main break closes lanes in downtown Nashville

A 12-foot water main broke this morning near downtown Nashville. Officials have closed several lanes of traffic.

The break occurred at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Lafayette Street. Two lanes on Fourth Avenue are now closed, as well as one on Lafayette. Two police officers are on site, according to Sonia Harvat, spokeswoman for Metro Water Services. The businesses in the immediate area that would be affected are closed today, said Harvat, so no customers have been disturbed.

Crews are currently working to expose the pipe, she said, at which point Metro Water Services will be able to assess the damage

Source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/2014/06/29/water-main-br...


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