CBU Water Main Breaks
There are over 420 miles of water main pipe, 7 storage tanks, 7 booster stations, and 1 water treatment plant to get water from Lake Monroe, make it drinkable, and get it to customers' taps. Just as the plumbing in a building needs maintenance and occasional repair, so does the plumbing of the City. Emergency repairs to the water infrastructure are called "main breaks" because the water is usually flowing from a hole or crack in the water main pipe, although sometimes it can be a leak at a joint or a broken valve. Unless the line is actually hit with something (which happens! Don't forget to Call 811 Before You Dig!) it can be difficult to discern why a pipe breaks. Employees at CBU look at several factors when studying main breaks, such as age and material of the pipe, composition of the material surrounding the pipe, and temperature of the air and water the day of the break. From the results of internal analysis and best practice in the water industry, CBU has made changes such as installing variable speed pumps and moving to a different pipe material. CBU also started a water main replacement program in 2017 which systematically replaces entire water infrastructure areas. Projects for that program are selected using data such as how many main breaks have occurred in the area and if the pipe supplies a critical customer, such as a hospital or school. If you see activity that looks like it may be a main break, such as water coming out of a crack in the road, please call CBU at the 24-hour line at 812-339-1444.