Underground water line leaks

I purchased a turnaround park early this year and I’m constantly having leaks in the underground water lines. I can’t determine the reason for the leaks but when speaking to another park owner they mentioned the possibility of chlorine interaction with first generation underground water lines. The park was built in the 70’s.

Does this sound logical or could it be something else? I’m located in upstate NY and our winters are pretty cold! The lines are approximately 6 feet down.

Every time we have a leak, we rent a backhoe, dig until we find the leak, and replace the defective section. It gets very expensive and time consuming.

Does anyone have any experience with this issue and what I should do other than replacing all the lines?

I’ve owned a park like that in the past… Get some quotes for wholesale replacement and figure out if it’s worth it to you or not. Maybe it’s $100k versus the $10k a year to play whack a mole. What’s worth it is your call. Regarding the chlorine, I find that hard to believe but there’s a few people on here that know a whole lot more than me. Well or city water?

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I think the reference to chlorine has to do with polybutylene lines. I had this problem in California. Here is an article on that issue but I don’t think your 6 feet down lined are poly :slight_smile:

Before deciding to pay $100.000 for a holistic repair or $10,000 for annual repairs, or whatever the amounts would be, I would do a repair or replace NPV analysis. Basically you discount the future cash flows to today’s dollar, and choose the option that is lowest cost after applying the discount factor.

Underground Leaks.

We have ran into properties were there are constantly experiencing pin hole leaks in their copper supply lines due to high PH in the municipal supplied water. The property was able to eliminate the leaks by adding a drip system adding a chemical to the water. Noting this type of drip system is only allowed in certain states/communities.

“We’re here to answer your sub-metering questions”

One other thing is do you have orangeburg pipes? …

Private water - 17-lots
Not sure what new underground water lines will cost. Starting to get Quotes now.

More than the money, it’s the stress this causes every time a call comes in regarding a water leak or no water. Sometimes we get lucky and find it in a few hours.; Other times when you’re not.

Do you know what material your mains are? Galvanized, copper,? The act of depressurizing and repressurizing the system can in itself cause leaks so you want to do that as little as possible. When making repairs look into what it would take to install a valve where repair is done so moving forward you can isolate sections of the main for repairs instead of shutting whole park down. Also if mains are galvanized, do you have a flushing system in place? Regular(every 6 months) flushing of your mains through a flushing hydrant will extend the life of your system. Not sure how lines are run but for ideal distribution of pressure, loops are best, and the hydrants would ideally be at opposite points on the loop. Good luck!

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JBush is 100% correct. If you have galvanized lines from the 70’s, you are going to have leaks. We have them and they are problematic. But, there are ways to mitigate the stress. When we have to dig up lines and replace sections, we also will add a shut off to the main at that section so that when we have another leak, we can narrow it down to certain sections of the park.

Also, if your lines aren’t “looped,” the cycle of pressurizing the lines, shutting off and re-pressurizing causes an enormous strain on your pipes. It creates a vacuum effect that
Can cause new leaks. We’ve spent thousands in fixing leaks only to pressurize the line and create a brand new one.

Repair the leaks with the best material available, install a main shut off at that location and when pressurizing lines, turn water on slowly rather than using a full turn.


I own a couple of properties and I found to get ahead of this issue installing submeters made a big difference when trying to identify leakage locations. It’s saved me a bunch of time trying to figure out where the leaks were happening and allowed me to replace the defective sections. In your case though, you might be FUBAR.