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 18 hours ago

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.



Comment by Howard on April 19, 2015 at 8:29pm

One Morning, 35 Water Main Breaks, Tulsa OK (Apr 15)

The Tulsa Water Department reported more than 35 water main breaks across the city Wednesday morning.

Later in the afternoon, a water main break sent water shooting 40 feet in the air.

Rick Caruthers, water distribution manager, said crews have been working to repair about 100 waterline breaks that have caused temporary service issues for hundreds of residents and businesses.

The city says workers have been out since Tuesday repairing a number of the breaks and additional workers are expected to be called in as more breaks are added to the list.




Comment by Howard on April 16, 2015 at 4:16am

Rumbling Earth, Water Main Break, Underground Fire in NYC (Apr 13)

A water main break caused the ground to shake in Queens and caused fires underground, fire officials said.

“At first just the pipe burst and it was all flooded here in the morning… Then all of a sudden the manholes had steam coming out,” said Lisa Deng, 22, who works at Dream Tech Auto Services.

A firefighter at the scene said the flooding caused a fire to erupt beneath the manhole.

“It was rumbling! The ground was rumbling and I guess they were going to let it explode but it didn’t explode.”

The blaze scorched a white Chevrolet Cruze that was being serviced by Dream Tech.

“I was so worried that the whole shop was going to be gone like what happened in the city. I was so worried it was going to explode and destroy my whole shop,” said Deng.

The busted pipe caused flooding near National Street and 43rd Avenue in Corona around 8:45 a.m., Monday, officials said.



Comment by Howard on April 9, 2015 at 4:22am

500 Evacuated From NY Subway After Water Main Break (Apr 8)

A water main break in the West Village forced the evacuation of 500 people from No. 1 train Wednesday evening. The 12-inch water main broke at 6:51 p.m. near 175 West 13th St. near Seventh Avenue, FDNY officials said.

The flooding resulted in halted service on the 1, 2, and 3 trains at the 14th Street station.

A photo from the scene showed brownish water inundating the intersection and coming up the sidewalk to the edge of a building.

Video at the scene also showed water cascading down the side of a train and pouring down into the 14th Street No. 1, 2 and 3 train station below.

Fire officials said the water was 2 feet deep in some spots and was actually covering the third rail in the subway. Water had begun to recede by 8:40 p.m. after the water main was shut off, but there were still numerous muddy areas.

Seventh Avenue was also closed to traffic between 12th and 13th streets, 1010 WINS reported.

The nearby Lenox Hill Healthplex was also dealing with problems as a result of the break, fire officials said.

“Steam has been disconnected from the hospital – it is affecting the hospital with that utility at this point,” said FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto. He said he was not sure if any patients were affected.






Comment by Howard on March 27, 2015 at 3:26am

Water Main Erupts in Palmer Texas (Mar 26)

A massive water main break has disrupted MetroRail service between Lakeline and Howard Station, causing “significant delays” that are expected to run through the evening rush hour, Capital Metro said Thursday afternoon.

It’s unclear what caused the main break.





Comment by Mark on March 5, 2015 at 6:14pm

Water main break, sink hole close Centre Street in downtown Oshawa, Canada


OSHAWA -- A portion of Centre Street South in downtown Oshawa is closed due to a watermain break and sink hole.

Durham Region’s works department has staff at the site to repair the watermain break.

This break is unrelated to a watermain break on King Street east of Centre Street last week.

The latest break means the water supply to homes and businesses in the area has been shut down.

The section of Centre Street will remain closed until the break is repaired and the road restored.

Once normal water pressure returns, customers are asked to flush out their systems by turning on the cold water tap only and let it run for five to 10 minutes.

Comment by Howard on February 19, 2015 at 3:49am

Massive Water Main Break Floods LA Suburb (Feb 18)

An 18-inch water main burst in Hollywood Hills early Wednesday morning causing severe damage with cars submerged and a torrent that flooded streets and homes.

At least 100,000 gallons of water flowed like a river through the 6400 block of Dix Street near Cahuenga Boulevard.

The water main break was reported around 2 a.m. and continued to flow for hours. Basements of apartment complexes were flooded, and sidewalks even began to crack as a result of the burst.

It's not clear what caused the 18-inch pipe to rupture.



Comment by Howard on February 18, 2015 at 3:47am

Geyser of Boiling Water Floods Siberian Street (Feb 17)

More than 2,000 people have been left without central heating in Central Siberia after a heating pipe burst, spurting a 15-meter-high jet of boiling liquid into the air.

A video of the incident shows the geyser-like fountain towering over a number of residential houses, raining down hot water while onlookers watch on.

Twenty houses and a school have been left without heating after the accident, affecting 2,100 people.

There were no injuries as a result of the blast, and it is expected that heating will be restored by about 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

The temperature in Tyumen hovered at about minus 23 degrees Celsius overnight and will warm up to about minus 15 C during the day, the Russian weather bureau reported.



Comment by Derrick Johnson on February 16, 2015 at 8:18am

Waterbury PD: Water main break to close road for days


WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Saturday water main break will affect drivers for days.

The Waterbury Bureau of Water says a 42-inch main broke on Thomaston Avenue near the Thomaston town line early in the morning, washing out a portion of the road. Waterbury police say Thomaston Avenue in the area will be closed for days.

Customers the broken main normally supplies are being served by another line; however, increased water flow in that line may cause areas of discolored water, the bureau says. According to the bureau, water quality will improve with time, but until then, customers are encouraged to avoid use of washing machines and dishwashers, and limit unnecessary water usage.

Repairs have been started on the broken main.



Water main breaks reported in Erie

Several water main breaks were reported this morning in Erie.

The first came in at about 5:30 a.m. in the 3800 block of McClelland Avenue, an Erie County emergency dispatcher said.

He said that was followed by breaks at 6 a.m. at Fairmount Parkway and Kilpatrick Avenue and at 8 a.m. at West 19th and Liberty streets.

Erie Water Works crews were responding to the breaks, the emergency dispatcher said.

Source: http://www.goerie.com/water-main-breaks-reported-in-erie


Ithaca loses 200-thousand gallons of water in main break

A street in Ithaca's South Hill neighborhood will be shut down again on Monday so crews can make permanent repairs after a big Sunday morning water main break.

The break, at the corner of South Aurora and Pleasant Streets, forced a several hours' long detour as 200-thousand gallons of water poured into nearby homes.   12 houses had their basements pumped out by Ithaca Firefighters.  Crews, at last word, were still removing ice from sidewalks and the roadway, which re-opened Sunday afternoon.

On Monday morning, the same detour used today will go into effect at 7am:  Hudson Street to Hudson Place,  or Coddington Rd. to Route 96, as repair crews shut down  South Aurora Street to make permanent repairs to the ruptured pipe.

Source: http://www.cnycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1164485#.VOGWGi5O0ng

Google Maps

Comment by Mark on February 13, 2015 at 11:35am

Toronto: there have been dozens of water main breaks reported across the city this week

Broken water mains, High Park sinkhole causing problems for public transit


Police closed parts of Progress Avenue near Markham Road as crews attempted to clean up a water main break this morning.

The TTC 134 Progress bus was diverting in both directions to avoid the area, but has since returned to it's regular route.

Another water main break is causing traffic problems on eastbound Eglinton Avenue at Kennedy Road.

On Wednesday, at least a dozen of breakages were reported across the city, with some North York homes on Old Orchard Grove flooded with sewage water.

The relatively warmer temperatures are likely the cause of the sudden spat of burst water mains.

The city says North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke have a higher rate of water main breaks because pipes in those areas are predominately in clay soil instead of sand.

High Park sinkhole

Near High Park on residential Coe Hill Drive, crews began working with jackhammers early this morning to widen a two-metre wide and three-metre deep sinkhole that opened up last night.

The sinkhole started with a water main break, police said, and the sewers beneath the hole have collapsed.

Residents in the area told CBC News that the stretch of road had been seemingly unstable for several years.

The TTC 71 Runnymede route is diverting around the sinkhole.



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