Philly Water Main Breaks: What Gives?

Just this morning, the third major water main break in the last week and a half occurred in Philadelphia, this time soaking an intersection in North Philadelphia.  Previously there was a water main break on July 22nd in South Philadelphia, as well as one on July 29th in Northeast Philadelphia.

What gives?

For a short, smart aleck answer– the water main pipe “gives.”   But in all seriousness, this is a very disruptive problem to local residents who may lose water delivery or find lower water pressure in their homes, as well as to commuters who may have to circumvent the affected area, and, of course, the workers who are undoubtedly physically taxed from having to make so many major repairs to the water mains in a short amount of time.

The Philadelphia Water Department has information on water main breaks, including why they happen and what to do in the event that they affect your house.  This information is not exclusive to Philadelphians, by the way.  Briefly, the water mains break for various reasons, but usually there is a factor of the pipe being corroded over the years, or there is extreme pressure placed on the pipe from any given side which can cause it to rupture and spew thousands of gallons of water out into the streets above.

Hopefully, the water mains will stay in tact in your area for many years to come, but it’s helpful to be aware of what’s going on with that water flowing right under your feet.

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