News Briefs: Times Square Water Main Ruptures and Floods Subway

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, an ongoing sewer project in Illinois unearths a rare wooden water line possibly dating back to the 1800s

News Briefs: Times Square Water Main Ruptures and Floods Subway

A 20-inch high-pressure water main that has been in service for 127 years recently ruptured under Times Square in New York City, flooding streets and affecting the city’s busiest subway station.

Approximately 300,000 commuters who use subway lines during regular rush hours were impacted by the flooding. The water main break occurred around 3 a.m. on Aug. 29 and led to an estimated 1.8 million gallons of water entering the subway system before it was shut off about 90 minutes later. 

The water main break is not only a disruption to daily life in a bustling area of New York City but also raises questions about the state of aging infrastructure in urban settings. The fact that a main from 1896 was still in operation is both a testament to the durability of past engineering and a wake-up call for the need to modernize essential services. This incident will likely fuel debates about the necessity for increased investment in infrastructure improvements and maintenance, especially in densely populated regions like New York City.

Illinois Sewer Project Unearths Rare Historic Wooden Water Line

As part of an ongoing Illinois American Water sewer separation project in Alton, workers made an unexpected historical discovery. While digging up the intersection of State and West Ninth streets, they unearthed a wooden timber water line with lead lining, likely dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The find adds a new layer to the history of utility infrastructure in the United States.

The discovery of a wooden water line with lead lining is a fascinating glimpse into the history of water infrastructure in the United States. Wooden pipes have been used in America since the 1700s. The use of lead lining in the pipes, which was common at the time, also serves as a reminder of the evolution of public health awareness and regulations related to water quality.

English Water Team Discovers Duck During Sewer Survey in Bristol

A surprise awaited members of the Environment and Flooding Protection team when they conducted a sewer survey in Bristol. 

Operating a robotic camera to navigate through an underground rainwater pipe, they encountered a lone duck. The waterfowl was believed to be searching for algae and was spotted giving the camera a curious glance before retreating safely. Wessex Water ensured the duck's safe exit from the pipe. Check out the video here.


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