Health Risks Associated With Water Main Breaks

June 16, 2022

Health Risks Associated With Water Main Breaks

Good health starts with water, from the water that allows us to maintain proper hygiene to the drinking water that allows our bodies to perform their regular functions. So, naturally, having a main water system is essential for any community that wants to offer a healthy lifestyle to its citizens.

As such, it’s no surprise that a disruption to a city’s water system, such as a water main break, has a plethora of health risks associated with it. Being aware of them is crucial for avoiding serious consequences for your health and well-being.

Injury Risk

When a water main breaks, it can send thousands of gallons of water spilling onto the street. At best, this is merely inconvenient for those in the area. At worst, this water can cause damage to surrounding structures.

Sinkholes are one common form of structural damage caused by water main breaks. Sinkholes can be small, but they can also tear up roadways and even damage the foundation of buildings. This can lead to roads and buildings collapsing or vehicular accidents in extreme circumstances. All of these things can lead to severe injuries for those involved.

Increase in Waterborne Illnesses

While injuries from sinkholes are one of the more obvious health risks associated with water main breaks, they are arguably not the most severe risk. When water mains break, the entire system loses pressure. This allows an opening for contaminants to enter the system.

Some of these contaminants are obvious, leading to dirt and discoloration in the water source. Others are less obvious, like chemicals or waterborne pathogens that can cause serious illnesses like norovirus or E. coli. What’s worse is that it may not be apparent to homeowners that their water supply is compromised until after they’re already sick.

How To Stay Safe During a Water Main Break

There are two parts to keeping yourself safe during a water main break. The first is responding appropriately to the break itself. If you see a large pool of water on the street or bubbling water, then contact community officials immediately and leave the area. If the break caused flooding in your building, do not enter the flooded areas, especially if the flooding is in the basement. Wading in this water can lead to electrocution.

The second part of staying safe during a water main break is to avoid contracting a waterborne illness. After regaining water pressure in your home, allow the water to run for three to five minutes. This will help clear the pipes of contaminants. Then, contact the city to see if the water is safe to drink.

Water is essential, and at Harris Main and Water, we want to help make sure that your water is safe to use by providing water main repair in NYC. We will help get your water back online as quickly as possible after a break.

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