Big or small, a water main break can be quite an event.  However, PW’s Distribution and Treatment Plant employees are on call 24/7 to make sure our customers have a safe, adequate supply of life’s most precious natural resource…water!

What is a main break?

Water mains are underground pipes that deliver water to homes and businesses. Occasionally these pipes develop holes or cracks creating a “break” in the system. Main breaks can be caused by sudden fluctuations in water pressure, pipe age, or ground movement due to extreme (hot, cold, wet, dry) weather conditions.

How does Paducah Water respond to a main break?

When a water main break occurs, rest assured PW staff in all departments are working diligently to make repairs and notify those affected as quickly as possible.

Here’s how the process works:

  • Distribution crews will isolate the ruptured pipe and temporarily take the water supply out of service while repairs are made.
  • PW staff will notify affected customers by either placing orange door tags on their doors or by placing signs in their yards. Notification means those customers are under a Boil Water Advisory, or BWA.
  • After repairs, the main will be thoroughly flushed prior to being placed in service. Some customers may experience water discoloration. We recommend turning on a cold water tap inside the residence (a bathtub faucet is ideal) and letting it remain open for a minimum of 2-5 minutes. Any discoloration should clear up during this time. If not, repeat this process until the water is clear. If this flushing method does not work, please call us!
  • When the water is turned back on, staff will collect samples. Those samples will be analyzed in our onsite, state-certified laboratory, a process that typically takes 18-24 hours.  
  • Test results will then be sent to the Kentucky Division of Water. Upon receiving negative results, staff will distribute blue door tags to the homes/business affected, notifying them that the BWA has ended
  • Please note, the local Health Department is notified any time a public facility involved in food preparation is affected.

What can I do if I suspect a main break has occurred?

You can help us by letting us know if there is a sudden drop in water pressure at your home or business, or if you notice water coming up from the ground in or near the street.  For questions, comments, concerns or additional information, please call us at 270-442-2746.a