TX Pipe Burst Caused by Protective Coating Damage


Last week, city officials in Corpus Christi, Texas, reported that decades-old damage to protective coatings caused a waterline pipe to burst.

Located at the intersection of McArdle Road and Staples Street, the pipe caused road closures for local residents while repairs took place.

What Happened

On Sunday, Jan. 8, an emergency closure was issued for the intersection due to a waterline break. Crews were onsite at the time evaluating the break and assessing repair options of the 30-inch pipe.

According to Director of Water Services for the City of Corpus Christi Wes Nebgen, at the time, city officials believed that a contractor hit the water line, which weakened the structure and eventually caused it to fail. 

“Not just the equipment, it’s also the materials you have to have available or procure and the manpower. Crews working through the night both our contractor Clark Construction and our guys with the C.C. Water team. It’s really a team effort a group effort to come together to get something like this accomplished,” he said.

Water quality was not impacted by the break or repairs. Additionally, the city’s system is reportedly designed to be resilient in situations such as these.

After inspection, the City of Corpus Christi reported that repairs were expected to take five days, including waterline and backfill, as well as street repair and restoration.

“It's in operation, it's in service, and I think the really positive message that comes out of a negative situation like this is the great work that the men and women of Corpus Christi Water and our contractor, Clark Pipeline, put into this project to get it taken care of as quickly as we did,” Corpus Christi Water COO Michael Murphy said at the time.

The waterline was repaired on Jan. 12 and roadway repairs were completed the following weekend. Roadway striping, manhole adjustments and valve adjustments were completed Jan. 16.

While the city initially thought that a contractor in the area had punctured the line, it was recently found that the break was caused by damage to the pipe made all the way back in 1986.

“The waterline was installed in 1965, followed by conduit around 1986. When the conduit was installed, it compromised the pipe and removed a portion of the protective coating,” Sr. Public Information Officer Melanie Lowry with the City of Corpus Christi said.

“Over time this weakened the effectiveness of the coating, causing the pipe to deteriorate more quickly.”

The roadway is reportedly now fully open to traffic.


Tagged categories: Coating Materials; Completed projects; NA; North America; Pipeline; Pipelines; Pipes; Protective coatings; Protective Coatings; Quality Control; Rehabilitation/Repair; Water/Wastewater

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.