2019 Water Main Break Recap

Platte Canyon Water and Sanitation District has over 76 miles of water mains in the drinking water distribution system ranging in diameter from 4” to 18”. Within this system is a substantial amount of cast iron pipe, which fails regularly and results in unplanned outages, property damage, and emergency repair costs.

Damage to cast iron pipe caused by electrolysis corrosion.

The District experienced 11 water main breaks in 2019. Five of these breaks occurred in the Leawood subdivision, three in the Columbine Hills subdivision and three in the Columbine Knolls subdivision. Most of these failures were due to electrolysis corrosion and occurred on cast iron pipes that are over 50 years old.

In 2018, District staff created a new water main assessment program to prioritize and accelerate the replacement of water mains in the coming decades.  This new approach allows the District to be proactive rather than reactive when dealing with water main replacements, as projects are prioritized so water mains most in need of repair are replaced in a timely manner.

This approach will also lead to reduced operation and repair expenses by avoiding costly unscheduled repairs and replacements of deteriorating water mains. In order to fully fund the planned water main replacement projects, the Board adopted a monthly Infrastructure Fee of $5.00 per ¾” equivalent on August 23, 2019.

Of the many projects identified in the District’s 10-Year Capital Master Plan, five are scheduled for 2020. These projects are listed on our webpage titled District Current Projects in the Construction Corner section of our website.