A cable company truck driver learned the hard way what happens when PVC pipe hits its stress limit: the pipe broke, resulting in a “massive hole” that swallowed up the back end of the truck. It happened in Orange County, FL, where officials said a “10-inch PVC water main broke and caused the ground to erode under the asphalt.” A local ABC affiliate has the story, and some remarkable photos:
“Water was still gushing from the ground as crews worked to turn off the main and get the truck out of the hole. The truck has since been removed, but the break is causing problems for residents.
“‘Customers are being notified of the outage, which could impact as many as 150 homes. We will continue to provide updates as crews assess the damage. The cause of the break is currently under investigation,’ [Carrie Proudfit of Orange County Public Safety and Health Services] said.
“About 150 residents are without water, officials said.”
It’s known that PVC pipe fails relatively quickly under stress, especially as compared with Ductile Iron Pipe. In fact, DIP withstands the most demanding operating and weather conditions with a tensile strength more than eight times that of PVC piping, which loses strength over time.
As important as it is for municipalities to know that, we’re guessing the cable truck driver wished they’d learned that lesson a different way.