Electrolysis Cause of Water Main Leak Springfield Gardens Queens
March 23, 2018

Late last week we received a call from Mr. Young who had been issued a violation from NYC due to his water main leaking in the street. He was skeptical as he had the water main replaced in full from the city main, to inside his building just four years prior.

We explained to Mr. Young that electrolysis is actually a common occurrence in his area over the previous two years. There is an underground DC current leak (electrolysis) within a 3 mile radius of his building which has led us to replacing over fifteen water mains in his area over the previous two years. The only way to resolve this issue is to have the new copper water main installed inside of a plastic sleeve which will protect the pipe from leaking in the future.

Mr. Young questioned “why wasn’t this offered to me by the company who installed my water main four years ago”. At this time we explained that this issue is not the norm and nobody could predict that this would happen, it is only after the fact that that people become aware.

The water was leaking so bad it started to create an icy condition and the DEP stated that he had to replace the water main within 48 hrs. or they would have to shut the water off as a safety precaution.

Dangerous conditions

For this reason Harris Water & Sewer scheduled the new water main installation to take place within 14 hrs. of this notification.

We first began by excavating in the street over the city main so we could close the water connection and stop the leak.

Now that the water was off, the crew could begin working on sub surface tunnels where the new copper pipe and plastic sleeve would be installed.

Opening roadway
Tap connection is shut off
Tap connection is shut off

Once the sub surface tunnels were completed the crew would pull the plastic tubing from one roadway hole to the next, and finally through the foundation wall.

Plastic tube installed
Plastic tube installed

At this point the new copper is re-connected back to the meter inside the building.

Water line installation completed

In this case the new water main was installed within 24 hrs. avoiding any fines from the NYC DEP and most important, our customer did not lose any water to their home due to dangerous conditions.