Challenges On New Construction Sewer & Water Main Installation

Installing water mains and sewers for new buildings in NYC is a common occurrence. The installation is pretty standardized for the most part, we follow plans and obtain inspections. The sewer is usually installed at the drill in connection on the city sewer. The water main is usually installed from the wet connection valve on the city water main.

Both the water main and sewer pipes usually go straight from the utility, to inside the building. In most cases both pipes enter inside the basement and at this point the internal plumbing is completed.

The sprinkler main or combined water main requires a curb valve below the sidewalk just in case the fire department is required to stop water from entering from the street.

When excavating for the sewer or water main we may encounter problems below ground. Some of these problems include underground utilities, bedrock or ground water. These three scenarios are not common however, it is possible to encounter the unexpected.

On this particular project in Brooklyn we came across a hidden room below the sidewalk, nobody was aware it existed! We started to excavate the sidewalk and saw a hollow space below. At first we thought it was a small sinkhole that must have occurred over the years. As we continued to excavate we found an old room that was larger than a 15’x 10′ room!. This is not something we come across often and were required to go back to the drawing board.

Thankfully for Team Harris we had one of our most seasoned teams on the installation and they were able to complete the job on a minor delay.

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