Water Main: Definition
A water main is a large pipe that carries water from a water treatment plant or reservoir to homes and businesses. The main is usually buried beneath the street, and it’s important that the public be aware of it so they don’t damage it when they’re digging in the street.
Water mains can range in size from a few inches in diameter to several feet. They are made of galvanized steel, concrete, or plastic, and they can carry millions of gallons of water per day.
If you have a leaky faucet or other plumbing problem, your first instinct may be to call a plumber. But before you do that, check to see if the problem is with your home’s plumbing or with the city’s water main. Many times, the problem is with the home’s plumbing, and the plumber can fix it without having to shut off the water to the entire street.
If you do have a problem with the city’s water main, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call your local water department and they will send someone to take care of it. Water mains are very important infrastructure components, and they should only be handled by professionals.
Water mains are buried beneath the street for a few reasons:
- It’s difficult and expensive to install plumbing above ground, so burying the pipes saves money in the long run.
- Water mains are large and heavy, and they would be difficult to move if they were above ground.
- Burying the pipes protects them from damage, both from weather and from people who might accidentally hit them with a shovel.
Water mains are an important part of our infrastructure, and it’s important that we take care of them. When you have a faulty water main, you might need to replace it or call a repiping plumber. And remember, if you have a plumbing problem at home, don’t try to fix it yourself – call a plumber!