Prompt Emergency Water Main Repair Service At Any Time Of Day

Water Main Service
February 19, 2020

by David Balkan

Water Main Emergency Repair Flooded Parking Garage

Contrary to what you may think, when you have a water line leak, an emergency water main repair is not needed in most cases. Just because the main service line to your building is leaking, there is typically no need to panic. Nor is there typically any reason to pay a premium for emergency service performed at off-hours. This article will attempt to guide you as to what constitutes a water main emergency, and if one exist, what type of service you should expect to receive. If you are interested in learning more specific information, read a complete water main repair guide.

A broken water line can cause 100’s of thousands of dollars worth of damage

What types of leaks require Emergency Water Main Repair?

Simply put, an emergency water main situation typically meets 3 criteria:

  1. There is a loss of water service, or there threat of losing water service.
  2. The leak poses a threat to residents, or pedestrians, or vehicular traffic, etc.
  3. Leaking water is causing damage inside or outside the property (such as a roadway washout).

Many water leaks can be controlled, and then repaired during normal work hours. For instance, leaks inside a sewer pit can typically be controlled by allowing the leak to go into the sewer trap. In other cases even street leaks may not be considered a serious threat. Weather is also a factor, as sub-freezing temperatures can cause icing conditions. Listed below is a list of common leaks that should be considered for require emergency water main work to be scheduled

Sometimes leaks can be temporarily clamped

1. Flooded Basements can require a water main emergency repair

This is when the leak cannot be readily controlled via drainage, a pump, or a repair clamp. These are situations where there is a heavy leak, and no drainage exists.  In these cases, at the very least the defective water line needs to be closed off and shut. In some cases there is a sidewalk curb valve, in other cases the roadway must be dug up.

2. When water service is interrupted

In certain situations even a lack of water can wait until the next day, depending on the buildings occupancy.  In some other cases a temporary supply connection can be made. This is accomplished by cross connecting to a neighboring house, or between 2 water service lines. In many commercial or larger buildings, cross connecting 2 water service lines is an option. Yet other occasions this is not the case.  For instance, large residential buildings or medical facilities need an almost immediate emergency water main repair to commence if a cross connection is not possible.

3. The threat of a person getting injured or vehicular damage

Leaks can cause sinkholes, roadway washouts, and icing conditions. In these cases the site must at least be made safe before repairs are started. Cases like these can frequently be made safe by dropping steel roadway plates. In case of an icing condition, calling 311 can result in the Department of Sanitation salting the affected area. In other cases you or your water main contractor can salt the icing area.

Some emergency conditions can be resolved by dropping a steel roadway plate

What is the required response time?

Of course if you are in a dire situation involving a water leak you’d like instantaneous service. However that is not possible in all cases, but it may also not be necessary. The 1st sensible thing to do is have a licensed professional go to your site and verify that it is in fact a water main leak. Verification of a leak requires leak testing performed by skilled water main personnel. Secondly what appears as a dire emergency, can in many cases be alleviated so work gets performed during normal work hours. This not only limits your inconvenience and potential damage, but makes the job less costly.

With all that said, Balkan’s commitment is to have a representative on site within 4 hours. As a matter of fact, is is our guarantee. When emergency water main repair work is in fact needed, a crew will follow shortly afterwards. That standard it met 7 days a week, and every day of the year. When next day service will suffice, and is agreed upon, you can count on that happening as well. Presently Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service can mobilize up to 15 crews on a daily basis. That all adds up to  your assurance of answers and solutions, not excuses.

Even some heavy leaks are not actually emergencies

How long does an emergency water main repair take?

In most cases the actual emergency, the leaking of water, can be alleviated in 4 hours or less. When your water service is actually interrupted, typically it is restored within 1 work day. Or course there are mitigating factors. These include the location of your property, and the size of the water line being worked on. Even with that said, the vast majority of emergency water main repairs result in a restoration within 24 hours, and restoration of disturbed finished surfaces the following day.

If after hours service was required, frequently service can be restored in 1 shift. That saves you, the Client, from numerous shifts of off-hours work rates. However, in other cases work must continue 24/7 around the clock until the full scope of work is completed. This is usually required in sensitive work zones, such a mid town Manhattan.

NYC’s Largest And Most Trusted Water Main Service


The Balkan Team is acknowledged as the largest and most trusted water main repair company in all of NYC. Our high level of service and integrity extends to emergency water min repairs as well. Balkan’s commitment includes an investment is unique underground technology, and state of the art equipment.

Our 48,000 square foot facility houses literally dozens of trucks, and a trained and dedicated workforce of over 100 individuals. Our devotion to our chosen trade, and to your satisfaction has resulted in a pristine online reputation, and a respected brand. Feel free to contact us for expert advice, or a free on-site visit.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

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