Leaking Water Main Floods Basement in Astoria, Queens

A broken water main on 20 St., in Astoria Queens resulted in a basement full of water for the owner of a multi family residence.  The owner was in the process of making repairs to the basement apartment when he became aware of a loud hissing noise near the water meter.  At this time he decided to pay no attention but continued to monitor the noise over the following days.  The owner was awoken in the middle of the night when he was alarmed by a tenant.  A large amount of water started to pour through the wall and was flooding her basement apartment.

After speaking with his sister, he was referred to Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractors who had replaced her water line three years prior.  Harris arrived at the house by 6 AM the next morning and removed the caps from the sewer line.  Removing the sewer trap caps allowed for the flooding water to exit through the house sewer line.   This quickly relieved almost two feet of water.

A Harris Water Main repair crew was at the house by 8 AM to begin replacing the existing lead water line with a new copper pipe.  While Harris was opening the roadway, they became aware of an undersized tap connection which connected the homeowner’s water line to the city main.  The tap connection serves as an on/off switch controlling the volume and pressure of water from the city main, to the private water line feeding the house.

Preparing tunnels for new pipe

Preparing tunnels for new pipe

New copper pipe

New copper pipe

Harris quickly contacted DEP and requested an emergency tap installation before the new copper main could be installed.  A DEP field supervisor arrived at the house within 20 minutes to verify the undersized tap and had a DEP tapping crew dispatched within one hour.  The Harris installation team continued digging for the new water line and was ready to start installing the new pipe by the time DEP had completed the new tap install.

DEP installing new tap

DEP installing new tap

New tap

New tap

It turns out that the previous owner had made a repair on the old lead water line which is where the leaked formed.  This is the exact reason why Harris always advises against repairing a water line, as opposed to replacing the entire pipe.  The pipe would not have formed a leak if the previous owner had decided to replace the entire pipe instead of making a repair.

The new pipe was installed by 2:30 PM when Harris began back-filling the roadway and property holes with clean dirt.


Contact Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractors for a free estimate or with any general questions you may have at 718-495-3600