Water Main Breaks
Why It Happens & What to Expect
It’s that time of year when cold temperatures mix with aging water pipes. Freeze/thaw ground movement, subzero temperatures, pipe corrosion, underground boulders, corrosive soil, and faulty bedding can cause old pipes to become brittle and sometimes crack and burst, sending large amounts of water into streets and keeping our maintenance and construction crews busy fixing broken mains.
BMMD has over 10 miles of water main pipe ranging in age from 40-50 years old. Most of these main pipes are buried nine feet underground and run under our streets throughout the Wildernest area. The water mains & service can be isolated by a complex system of main shut-off valves.
Main breaks are unpredictable, but when they happen BMMD considers it our top priority to restore service. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to have a water main break completely repaired. The amount of time it takes to fix a water main depends on the size of the break, where the break is located, waiting for emergency utility locates, and what type of environment it is in. One factor that may delay that timeline is weather and time of year. Winter main breaks take more time to repair due to frozen ground and adverse work conditions.
Some areas of Wildernest are more susceptible to breaks than others. BMMD has identified these susceptible areas and is currently planning future main replacement project(s) to address these weak spots in the system. Long term asset management is critical for a reliable system. BMMD continues infrastructure replacement projects on an annual basis and will continue to plan for needed repairs. REMDINDER: Once an emergency main break occurs, BMMD will shut off the water and begin to post water outage notice and updates on the BMMD website homepage at www.colorado.gov/bmmd.
REMDINDER: Once an emergency main break occurs, BMMD will shut off the water and begin to post water outage notice and updates on the BMMD website homepage. If time allows, BMMD will also send out group emails to properties that are affected by the water outage. Make sure your email address is registered with the District.