Water main break reported this week on north Siesta

County’s Public Works staff makes repairs on Ocean Boulevard

The red balloon marks the location of the house at 4413 Ocean Blvd. on Siesta Key. Image from Google Maps

On Oct. 17, a break in a primary potable water pipeline on north Siesta Key necessitated the closing of one lane of traffic in the area of the home standing at 4413 Ocean Boulevard, so repairs could be made, the staff of the Sarasota County Public Works and Public Utilities departments told The Sarasota News Leader.

One resident observed “a lot of water in the street” on the north end of Ocean Boulevard that morning, the resident — who asked not to be identified — told the News Leader. The resident added that a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on the scene.

That afternoon, the resident saw workers dealing with a hole in the road near the house located at 4413 Ocean Blvd. The following morning, another resident reported seeing that the hole had been closed up, but the asphalt had not been repaired.

Public Works staff told the News Leader that the main water line was repaired, “and the site was temporarily restored with crushed concrete, pending a Public Works asphalt restoration work order.”

Trenchlesspedia explains, “A water main is a primary underground pipe in a municipal water distribution system. It is a major artery that supplies water to smaller pipes on the way to homes and businesses. Water mains take clean water from a city’s water treatment plant to communities that need it and is, therefore, a critical part of a nation’s utility infrastructure. The pipes transport a high volume of water under pressure to neighborhoods that are depending on water mains to bring them clean water from the city’s water treatment facility.”

In late February, the county’s Public Utilities Department staff initiated an eight-hour shutdown of water service to approximately 1,600 Siesta Key customers on the north end of the island to undertake “critical repairs to leaking valves and replace multiple fire hydrants.”

The National Library of Medicine points out in an April 2022 abstract that analyses have shown “that saltwater intrusion and sea level rise can significantly affect the integrity of water and wastewater collection pipes due to potential changes in soil and groundwater characteristics that increase corrosion rates. Corrosion rate is intensified by increased conductivity of groundwater due to salinity. Coastal areas with subtropical climate have higher corrosion rates.”

Although certain areas of Siesta Key typically flood during heavy rain events, considerable flooding was reported on the north end of the island as a result of the effects of Hurricane Idalia in late August.