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 2 hours ago

Brockton schools open; boil water order in effect

Posted: May 27, 2015 6:53 AM PST Updated: May 28, 2015 6:34 AM PST Reported by Victoria Warren

BROCKTON, Mass. (WHDH) - Brockton schools were re-opened Thursday following a major water main break in East Bridgewater on Wednesday that interrupted water service and caused a boil water order. 

A large water main that carries water from Silver Lake to the City of Brockton ruptured in East Bridgewater, interrupting service for thousands of people. 

A 24-inch pipe burst at about 6:30 a.m. under a man's home and prompted a water emergency. It is one of two main lines that run through East Bridgewater to the city of Brockton.

"I tried to get my truck out the garage cause I knew this was gonna take a few days to fix and I need transportation, so I said, 'let me try to get my truck out of the garage,' and I went about five feet and then I went down five feet, so that was it. That was all she wrote," said the homeowner, whose truck was in a sinkhole.

Students were dismissed from Brockton High School. The mayor urged parents to pick up elementary and middle school students in Brockton as well.

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter said between 50,000-75,000 people in Brockton were impacted and he said old infrastructure is to blame, as the pipe was nearly 100 years old.

"Immediately, we're asking people to only use water for necessary purposes as we get the system back up and fully running. We're advising them not really to do laundry for the next day or two as we get the pipes cleaned out, and the boil water order will be in effect for at least 24 hours. Any water that's gonna be used for either drinking or preparing food has to be boiled for a minute first before it's consumed," Carpenter said.

Emergency repair crews are on the scene, but officials hope for a return to normalcy by morning.

“We hope to have the pipe repaired by midnight, have water flowing to everyone by morning, that will alleviate the real part of the emergency, but the state will keep the real boil water in order for a couple days,” Carpenter said.

Brockton, Whitman, Hanson and parts of Pembroke were affected by the water main break. The boil-water order will be in effect for 24 hours after water tests come back clean.

Source: http://www.whdh.com/story/29167288/water-main-break-interrupts-wate...

Google Maps

Comment by Yvonne Lawson on Wednesday

Rush-hour chaos as buses, cars and cycles struggle through a London high street after burst water main leaves it looking like a river

Commuters faced travel chaos this evening after a burst water pipe left a main road looking more like a river.

Buses, cars and bicycles struggled to make their way through Green Lanes in Harringay, north London, after a burst water main flooded the carriageway just before rush-hour.

Vehicles could be seen with their wheels up to three feet deep in dirty floodwater with residents estimating the deluge stretched about half a mile.

A spokesman added: 'After this we'll assess the damage and plan the repair job. We'll work as hard as we can through the evening and overnight to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.'

It is not known when the incident will be resolved or when the road will be reopened but fire crews and council workers are believed to be at the scene trying to drain the water.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3098192/Commuter-chaos-buse... 

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on Tuesday


Section of Fallbrook Road Could Collapse After Water Main Break in Fallbrook

An early morning water main break left a section of roadway unstable and vulnerable to collapse in Fallbrook, officials said. 

A resident called in the water main break, which crews later determined to be a break in a 12 inch water main, around 1 a.m. Monday on South Mission Road between West Fallbrook Street and Aviation. The break is affecting the whole intersection.

Water Gushes After Water Main Break

[DGO] Water Gushes After Water Main Break
Crews on scene worked to repair a water main break that became a sinkhole, leaving a portion of a nearby road vulnerable. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez reports. (Published Monday, May 25, 2015)

Crews estimated that the break left 400,000 gallons of water still in the sinkhole, ready to bubble up. 

Water department crews turned off the water but are still trying to seal the main all the way. The sinkhole that has formed in the area has four to five feet of water in it, which crews are working to drain.

The ground underneath the asphalt east of the sinkhole has washed out, crews on scene said, and 400 feet of roadway could collapse. They said they would recommend the county close the section of road to drivers for days as it will be unstable and could collapse.

The break is affecting the entire intersection in the area, where crews estimate a shopping center could be left without water as a result and potentially some residents in the area as well.

Once crews drain the water, they can begin to repair the main. Officials said they would be on the scene for most of the day working to repair the damage.

Comment by Howard on May 15, 2015 at 3:50am

Large water main breaks in New York today.

400 Cars Flooded After Water Main Breaks in Manhattan NY

As many as 400 cars were flooded early Thursday after a main break sent water gushing into the parking garage of a residential building at East 57th Street and Second Avenue.

At least three levels of the garage at 303 E. 57th St. were flooded with about 2 feet of water after the break at 58th Street and Second Avenue.

“We’ve got pumps down there now, and it’s gone down by a few inches, but there’s still about 2 feet of water down there on C level and E level,” said Orlando Melecio of AC Klem Plumbing, who got the call about the inundation about 5 a.m.



Water Main Break Sends Water Gushing 30 Feet into Air in Suffern NY

A pipe burst along Route 202 on Thursday, sending a geyser of water at least 30 feet into the air.

The water spewed higher than the utility poles near the intersection of Chestnut Street shortly after 3 p.m. Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn estimated the geyser reached 30 to 40 feet high.

"The manhole cover blew right off," he said.

The break occurred in a water main. The water continued to spew as United Water New York crews made their way to the scene along with firefighters and police.



Comment by Derrick Johnson on May 13, 2015 at 6:50am

"Colossal" Water Main Break Floods Streets in Beverly Grove

"It was colossal," one resident said. "The jet of water was easily as tall as the tree."

A water main described as "colossal" break flooded streets in the Beverly Grove area of Los Angeles Tuesday morning.

The pipe ruptured about 5 a.m. in the 8300 block of Blackburn Avenue. according to the LADWP.

The broken 6-inch main shot a geyser of water into the air, causing a sinkhole and flooding streets. Residents described hearing a rumbling sound.

"I heard this sound ... it was kind of an eruption sound. It was really loud, it was rumbling," a longtime resident of the block told NBC4.

"It was colossal," he said. "The jet of water was easily as tall as the tree."

Crews turned off the water by 6 a.m. leaving about 20 to 30 customers without water until the afternoon, LADWP officials said. The street was repaired sometime around noon.

"That's a stab in the dark when you say, 'What caused the water main break?'" said Kirk Broyard of the LADWP. "But again, aging infrastructure. We're doing everything we can to replace to aggressively replace these old pipes.

The age of the pipe that ruptured in Beverly Grove was not immediately known.

Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Water-Main-Break-Bevery-Gro...

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Comment by Derrick Johnson on May 11, 2015 at 7:17am

Water-main break floods West Hollywood neighborhood

A 12-inch water-main break submerged several vehicles, flooded a commercial building and caused extensive street damage in a West Hollywood neighborhood Sunday.

The break occurred in the 1200 block of North Formosa Avenue at about 4:45 a.m., officials said.

Several vehicles in an underground parking structure were submerged as gallons of water spewed into the residential neighborhood. At least one business was damaged.

"If I had a raft I could have went down to Melrose Avenue," James Marthaler said.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews responded to the scene and closed down the streets to start on repairs. There was no immediate estimate of how much water was lost.

"We have six vehicles in the underground parking that have been flooded, so now we're trying to evacuate the water, which is going to take us a couple more hours to complete that operation," said Trey Espy of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The water main was installed in 1936. LADWP officials believe the age was likely to blame for the break.

"It was just one of many places where we need to have a water main replaced," said Kirk Broyard with LADWP.

Twenty-seven customers on North Formosa Avenue, between Fountain Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, were without water due to the water-main break. Service was restored by 6:45 p.m.

Crews remained on scene to clean up.

Source: http://abc7.com/news/water-main-break-floods-west-hollywood-neighbo...

Google Maps

Comment by Derrick Johnson on May 9, 2015 at 7:21am

Water main break shuts down Holgate Street in Seattle


Santa Cruz crews say old water main "blew up," caused gallons to spill into neighborhood


Water main break swamps downtown block in San Luis Obispo


Comment by Howard on May 8, 2015 at 3:54am

Water Main Geyser Erupts Near Philadelphia PA (May 6)

A huge water main break created a geyser on a road in Cheltenham Township on Wednesday afternoon.

"I came out to get my mail and all of a sudden I saw the burst," said Selma Alexanian. "It looked like a volcano."

"We heard noise, a "boom," and then there was water coming out like a fountain," said Jeanine Lee.

The eruption launched rocks and pavement all around, including one resident's driveway.

It took about an hour to shut the water off. Repair crews then started the task of restoring water service to 10 nearby homes.

There was no word on what caused the break.



Comment by Howard on May 2, 2015 at 5:09am

Water Main Erupts in Memphis Tennessee (May 1)

Around 2 a.m. Friday, a homeowner awoke to a loud rumbling.

"I just saw water going everywhere," said the woman, "I thought it was someone trying to break in."

The water main break sent rocks and asphalt flying into her home.

When she looked out her window, she saw what looked like a geyser.

"It was hitting so hard that I thought maybe it was going to cave my roof in," she explained.

The homeowner said she called 911 first because she was confused about what was happening.

The fire department showed up and eventually contacted MLGW crews who shut off the water just after 5 a.m. affecting more than 60 residents.

Later Friday morning MLGW crews worked hours to repair the pipeline underground and turned the water back on around 10 a.m.

MLGW officials said they were still working to determine the cause of the water main break.



Comment by Howard on April 28, 2015 at 3:30am

Water Main Explodes Through Pavement in UK (Apr 27)

A 50-ft geyser of water burst through the pavement in Gateshead today, sending debris flying and causing evacuations.

The town’s traffic was brought to a standstill as police closed roads to deal with a burst water main.

Motorists were forced to sit in long tailbacks after the pipe burst on St Cuthbert’s Road at around 1.30pm on Monday.

Madeline Richardson, a senior nursery nurse at The Bridges Nursery, said their building was evacuated during the drama.

She added: “The water explosion was outside our nursery. It was going 50ft in the air and the roads surrounding the nursery were flooded.

The burst water main is the second one to hit Tyneside in two weeks.

On April 17, a pipe burst on Scotswood Road, flooding the nearby area and closing roads.

The flood gave motorists a headache and affected businesses, with one car dealership being submerged, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.





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