Water Main Bursts and Breaks
Water main ‘bursts’ or breaks are an expected operational occurrence in the water supply business. They happen on a regular basis, wherever water is supplied.
Unfortunately, water main bursts can cause considerable inconvenience to those impacted by them and can also leave damage to properties in their wake. Water main bursts tend to occur late in the evening or in the very early hours of the morning, when most people are sleeping. During that time there is little demand for water, causing a build-up of pressure in pipelines. This pressure can then put a strain on any weaknesses in the pipelines, causing them to burst. However, main breaks can and do happen at any time of the day.
Water trunk mains were built with a certain life expectancy in mind. Certain pipelines can be in service for up to 80 years. When they get to the end of their life span, they are replaced. However, unexpected bursts can happen to pipelines of any age. Reasons for this can include:
- ground movement and soil conditions
- weather events
- unexplained corrosion.
Fixing a burst water main is complicated. This process can take some time depending on the location of the rupture, the time of day and weather conditions at the time. Your Local Plumber works with your local council to respond to and fix water main bursts.
Once the ruptured section of pipe is located, the valves that control the flow of water to the affected area have to be turned off so the main can be fixed. Crews are also working simultaneously to provide an alternative water supply, if available, so that pressure and water outages to residents are minimised.
Turning off a valve is not like turning off a household tap or a matter of pushing a button. It often takes a great deal of manpower as each valve has to be manually turned off. Often, there can be more than four valves that each need to be closed to fix the affected pipe. Because of the increased water pressure, it can sometimes take four or more people and up to 45 minutes to manually close each valve.
Once the flow of water is stopped, crews can begin repairing the section of burst pipe. In most cases, this involves bringing in heavy equipment such as excavators to uncover underground pipe and to patch or replace the affected section. This can take several hours depending on the extent of the problem, safety issues, weather conditions etc.
If you are affected by a water main break, you can be assured that Your Local Plumber will work to restore water and pressure as quickly as possible and will take all steps to minimise inconvenience.
For all your leak detection and burst water pipe repairs you can rely on our team of Master Plumbers to delivery excellent customer service.