atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#313: Hydraulic pressure

I got home this morning and was greeted with a water main break.

There's a river of muddy water pouring down the west side of the street, and after I'd called the town to report it (someone had beat me to it) I had a look at the gushers.

This same place broke about a year ago, strangely enough. This time it looks like a bigger one.

If I am making my "woodlandurban survuval" roll (this is the roll Rangers make in D&D 3.5 for tracking rolls and such), it looks like the water main broke and the water first came up on the east side of the street, following the channel from the prior break. But that only lasted until the water made its own channel.

The asphalt patch over the prior break has had its edges lifted about two inches. The asphalt is higher with respect to the curb than it was, too. There is mud, sand, and rocks all over the place, a significant amount of it, and the water is coming up in four places.

But I got to thinking: the water main is a certain diameter, and experiences a certain amount of pressure. A 16" water main under 50 psi means five tons of pressure at the end of the pipe--p times the radius squared, times 50 psi--and that's more than enough to lift pavement and such.

Still, as impressive as all that is, after a hard night at work the last thing I wanted was to have to wait for a shower.

Oh well.

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