Water Main Breaks
If water is spraying up or ponding in the street area during periods of no rain, it may be a main water line break. Please report suspected water breaks to 311 or 645-3111 immediately. The 24-hour Water Maintenance desk can also be reached directly at 645-7788. While breaks are often associated with winter weather, they can occur any time on both older and newer lines. Temperature changes may cause ground shifting which can put stress on the lines. During the spring and summer months, fire hydrant flushing can also cause shifts in pressure that can result in breaks.
Breaks repairs are prioritized by severity of the leak, location and other factors including critical facilities the line may serve such as hospitals or schools. Most breaks are repaired within two weeks after being reported. For safety, other utility lines must be marked before excavation can begin. Signs are usually posted in the break area with a date the break is scheduled to be repaired by. Road closures and lane restrictions are reported to the city's Paving the Way office.
Every attempt is made to keep the water service on during the repair, though some customers may experience reduced water pressure. In some cases, a water outage may be necessary.
The Division of Water repairs only city-owned water lines and suburban-owned lines under contract. Property owners are responsible for making repairs to the owner's service water line.
Water lines with high break rates in Columbus are addressed through a capital improvement program. The Department of Public Utilities has quadrupled its water line replacement and rehabilitation budget in recent years to address those needs. Modern construction methods and materials should help reduce the incidence of future breaks.
For more information on water line breaks, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. For questions, please call Customer Service at 645-8276.