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PoopSmith87 t1_j6ec4d1 wrote

If the break is before the meter, it wouldn't be on the bill. Nevermind the bill, in a Long Island home with a metered leak, you'll actually hear the meter buzzing away in the basement.

Weather is pretty unlikely, Long Island generally is not prone to sink holes as it lacks the "soft bedrock" geology that leads to them. Long Island is basically a long, extended sandbar that was pushed up by a glacier, sand and tumbled rocks, there just isn't any kind of limestone or carbonate bedrock to cause sinkholes


dominus_aranearum t1_j6egqb7 wrote

If before the meter, I get they wouldn't see it and it would depend how long a leak had been there and how often the water company monitored the difference between their output meter and a homeowners use meter. Ours are read bi-monthly.

We have glacial till where I am so digging holes by hand is super fun, more rock than dirt in each shovelful. Can't see sink holes happening here either unless there was some solid surface above it. However, I have seen abundant amounts of rain overwhelm drainage and undermine the ground around houses from time to time. I've also seen rain water running down a hill a few inches under the surface, only noticed when it was coming up through a friends water meter box. We also have underground springs that will wash stuff out over time.

It will be interesting to see if the findings are newsworthy. Not counting on it.

Thank you for the actual conversation. I wish more people could dialogue.


PoopSmith87 t1_j6emwa5 wrote

Yeah, it's all conjecture as of now.

My uninformed but kinda smort guess is that it was a quick, massive failure before the meter, or possibly with irrigation that was on an off meter well (a common setup here). Long Island, being a sandbar, gives way to water pretty easily, so it would be quick work for a 1.5" high pressure main to excavate that cavity. I once saw very large main at a horse farm that left a crater big enough to hide a school bus in the ~30 seconds it took to shut down. If this was a normal residential main running all night, this size hole is totally possible. Because it's a grass yard, and a frozen one at that, the grass roots holds up the top 6" and viola, you have a hidden deathtrap.

If I'm right, her sand got pushed down into the water table, or gushed out all over her yard on the edges.


dominus_aranearum t1_j6fcxfl wrote

>saw very large main at a horse farm that left a crater big enough to hide a school bus in the ~30 seconds it took to shut down.

I used to build houses. Heard an excavator hit a water main in a cul-de-sac. Not sure the size but it made a very big hole very quickly. Took a few minutes to find someone with the proper tool to shut water off for the entire street. Good thing it was at the top of a hill. =)