Video from KJRH.
Shifting temperatures causing water line breaks aren’t just a headache; they can be very dangerous. On January 12, 2015, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a water main break shot water more than 30 feet in the air, destroying the canopy and pumps of a gas station in just minutes. While the aftermath looked like a tornado blew through town, the reality is water caused this destruction. Check out the security camera footage from the gas station below.
Video from KJRH.
When main water lines break, you have to deal with the headaches it causes: icy roads, interrupted water service. But in the end, the city’s Department of Public Works will make the repairs. Your private water line, however, can cause the same problems, but you have to handle the repairs.
Many factors contribute to water and sewer line failures, including age, extreme temperature, quick changes (from hot to cold) and other environmental elements, such as ground shifting and roots. The winter months continue to be a danger to water and sewer lines for breaks and leaks – especially when the temperatures rapidly change from warm to extreme cold as we’ve seen in many parts of the world. As a homeowner, your lines are just as susceptible to problems as public infrastructure because they face the same age and climate concerns as public pipes; however, when private lines break or leak, the repair is on the homeowner.
As the snow continues to fall with yo-yo style temperatures, be mindful of your water and sewer pipes and protect them using a few simple tricks:
- Run a slow stream of water during the coldest days to prevent frozen pipes.
- Ensure all pipes on exterior walls or outside are well insulated.
- Watch your ground for wet spots or a foul smell, which would indicate a leak or break.
Additionally, if you see a water line break, make sure to report it to the public works department and do not attempt to drive through the water. It only takes a few inches of fast-moving water to move a car and as you saw in the video, powerful water can crush metal.