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How to properly address a water main break

Plumber in trench fixing a water main break

Water main breaks are increasingly common this time of year, as it seems Mother Nature can't make up her mind about whether she's ready for spring or is still stuck in winter. As a result, the ground around a water main will freeze during a particular cold spell and defrost just a few days later, only to harden up again the next week. This constant back and forth weighs heavily on the structural integrity of these large pipes, which bring water from a community's main line into the homes and businesses along a given street. As a result, they are more likely to burst, as water that frequently expands and then turns liquid again during deep freezes has the potential to put devastating pressure on the water main.

There are several protocols that residents should follow if they witness a water main break on their street or property. A water main break doesn't necessarily mean there will be a large, noticeable crater on the side of the road like the kinds of traffic-causing breaks you might see on TV. Ruptures could go unseen but still have a devastating affect on your home's water supply, as the fluid that comes out of your pipes may be contaminated or pressure may be shut off entirely due to a ruptured pipe.

If you notice a large water main break like the one that hit Chevy Chase, Maryland, in mid-March, call your local department of public works to come address the issue. Should you think there is a problem with a water main on your property that is directly affecting your home, contact an experienced McLean, Vienna Alexandria or Ashburn water main repair service to investigate the problem.