NYC Experiences a Spike in Water Main Breaks March 2016
April 2, 2016

Historically New York City tends to experience an influx of water main breaks throughout the month March. As the temperatures start to rise, the ground begins to shift, which results in the movement and leaking of older water mains.  It is most common to experience a water main break on a lead or galvanized pipe, due to the age and condition of the pipe.

The average increase in broken water mains for the month of March is around 18% over the previous ten years. NYC experienced a 22% increase over the previous month

Over the previous ten years NYC has experienced an 18% increase for broken water mains in the month of March. This past March was a little different with an additional 22% increase from the previous years. After analyzing all variables, we have not been able to pinpoint any reason as to why we have experienced such a large increase in 2016 except for the fact of the dramatic shifts in temperature. We have three separate weeks where there was more than a thirty degree shift in temperature which may have led to the spike we are experiencing. 

Queens’s water line break early March

On a snowy Monday morning a homeowner in Queens suddenly lost 75% of water pressure in their house. At the same time they realized there was a heavy stream of water flowing from the property, onto the city sidewalk.

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Leaking on property
Leaking on property

The new water main was installed the very next day, satisfying the DEP 3 day notice that was issued with a new 1” copper water main.

Working on the install
Working on the install

Brooklyn water main replaced with 150’ of new copper

A very busy commercial driveway in Brooklyn experienced a water main leak on their property late Friday afternoon. Harris Water was hired to repair the pipe on a Saturday so the business could function as usual on Monday morning.

Excavating for new copper
Excavating for new copper

The new pipe being installed
The new pipe being installed

After digging on Saturday morning, the crew became aware that there were several other leaks on the pipe and the entire pipe must be replaced. This particular replacement took three days to replace over 150’ of pipe before the job was completed.

Manhattan water main leaks

A ten story residential building experienced water spewing from the sidewalk but did not think much as they had not experienced a loss in water pressure. This is a major misconception, most people assume if they experience a water main leak that they will suffer from a loss in water pressure.

The leak
The leak

In most cases the building does not actually experience a loss in pressure unless that water main is completely severed, not allowing water to flow from on section of the pipe, to the next. 

Removing the old pipe
Removing the old pipe

Removing the old pipe
Removing the old pipe

The 6” water main was completed and inspected by DEP in two days.

Thew new pipe
Thew new pipe