Water Main Breaks

Broken Water MainWater Break Timeline

  • A resident, police or indications at the water facility will notice and notify of loss of water.
  • Crews are dispatched to access and shut valves to stop water loss. Depending on valve locations, the affected area of water outage can be small or large.
  • The Department of Public Works (DPW) notifies affected residents through the Swift911 phone system.
  • DigSafe is called to mark out any potential electrical, gas, etc. that may affect excavation.
  • Crews dig to find the exact failure of the water pipe.
  • Repairs are made to the pipe. Depending on location, underground conditions, other services and type of pipe issue; repairs can be short or long.
  • Repairs are tested by charging the pipe with water.
  • Excavation site is filled and various hydrants are flushed to purge any air.

After Effects of a Water Main Break

When a water break is fixed, there often will be discoloration and air in the resident's water. This is an unavoidable side effect of the repair. It should not be a concern for health, but is only aesthetically displeasing. Crews will try to alleviate those issues by flushing hydrants in the area. Residents can also run faucets in their homes to purge air remove sediment.

Water breaks are unavoidable and disruptive occurrences that happen many times a year. This is an inconvenience for residents and business owners, but the DPW strives to repair in a timely and safe way.