Water Main Break FAQ
Click on a topic below to view the answers.
How do I report a water main break?
If you notice water leaking or pooling on a street, please call the Service Authority’s Emergency Dispatcher at (703) 335-7990.
How does the Service Authority repair a water main break?
Before repairing a break, the Service Authority contacts Virginia 811 to locate and mark other utility lines that may be in close proximity to a damaged water main. After determining the exact location of the water main break, a Service Authority repair crew uses heavy equipment like a backhoe to excavate the affected area. Should the Service Authority need to interrupt water service to perform the repair, the crew will notify customers in person or via a phone call with a recorded message.
If a water main break is repaired beneath a roadway, the crew will cover the excavation site with a temporary asphalt patch. Depending on weather conditions, a Service Authority contractor will repave the impacted section of the road within six to eight weeks.
How long does it take to repair a water main break?
Factors such as type, size and location make each water main break unique. As a result, the length of time required to complete each repair varies.
What causes water main breaks?
Fluctuations in water and ground temperatures, the corrosiveness of the soil and the age and condition of a pipe can cause water main breaks. Pipes can also break if they are accidentally struck by heavy equipment.
What should I do when my water service is restored?
After a water main break in your area has been repaired, you may experience pockets of air in your plumbing and some cloudiness in your water. Running cold water from your tap for five to 10 minutes should clear your lines of any air or sediment. If your faucet continues to sputter or your water remains cloudy after you run the tap, please call the Service Authority’s Emergency Dispatcher at (703) 335-7990 for assistance.