The Season For Water Main Breaks


For many, this time of year is for beginning and sticking with New Year’s resolutions. For the Plainview Water District (PWD), however, this time of year is all about responding to water main breaks. As winter weather intensifies in the coming weeks, the PWD is prepared to tackle emergency situations such as water main breaks, which are impossible to predict where and when they may occur.

“Water main breaks are an unfortunate reality in any area that experiences extreme cold, and Long Island certainly qualifies,” said Marc Laykind, chairman of the Plainview Water District. “The good news is that we in the Plainview Water District have experienced people responding to breaks when they occur, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to minimize interruptions to your water supply as much as humanly possible.”

As the case with all cold-weather climates, water main breaks are an unfortunate reality. Water main breaks typically occur when there is movement in the soil surrounding the water pipes or a freeze/thawing condition. Water mains are installed below the frost line; however, when the soil shrinks or swells it places pressure on the pipes causing a break. Though the length of time to repair a leak varies from incident to incident depending on how quickly the leak can be located and its severity, PWD employees are trained to repair all types of breaks efficiently, quickly and safely.

“We’re lucky to have some of the best, most hardworking staff in the industry responding to and repairing main breaks,” said Amanda Field, secretary of the Plainview Water District. “As soon as we learn of a break, we react immediately, and do whatever we can to limit any potential interruptions to our residents as much as possible.”

The Plainview Water District also encourages residents to be on the lookout this winter for main breaks. Residents that notice a significant reduction in the water pressure from their faucets, areas of wetness along the curb, bubbling of water in the roadway or unexplainable icy conditions are encouraged to contact the Plainview Water District immediately at 516-931-6469.

“While we have systems in place to effectively learn about main breaks shortly after they occur, there are situations where they are not immediately detected,” said Andy Bader, treasurer of the Plainview Water District. “Anytime someone suspects there may be a water main break in their neighborhood, they should never hesitate to contact us and report the situation. The quicker we can locate a break, the quicker we can respond to it and the quicker the issue can be resolved”

When water service is restored, residents may notice air in their pipes and the water may be discolored. The discoloration is not harmful, but can stain laundry. If you experience discolored water, let the cold water run from a faucet or tub at the closest area to your incoming service line for a few minutes or until it clears.

If you have questions about preparing your home’s water system for the winter or general inquiries about your water service, call 516-931-6469 or send an email to

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