On the night of Saturday, March 11, the main water pipe transporting water from the mainland to the Florida Keys burst, causing many residents to lose water pressure and a block in traffic on Overseas Highway around mile marker(MM) 80. On Sunday, March, 12, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) stated that residents would slowly start to get normal levels of water pressure throughout the day. Although, they would still send out precautions on their social media platforms.
This is due to the burst on Saturday being big enough to cause an interruption to the normal water supply. There was a small break last Wednesday, March 8th, when FKAA crews were working at MM 84. At MM 92 near Tavernier, another pipe burst, which is reported to be much worse than the one near MM 84. The breaks were not “…sitting under the tree…”, FKAA executive director Greg Veliz told Keys Weekly. He had crews actively working on fixing the breaks.
Even though the breaks in the water pipe have been fixed, the FKAA has put out a notice to boil water. It is a precautionary measure for MM 90 and south, since the water coming from the pipes could have bacteria in it. The boil water notice is scheduled to be lifted on Wednesday, March 15. However, the lift date could be pushed to a later date.
Due to the pipe breaks about two years ago in May 2021 and this past week, the authorities approved a two-year-long project to replace the old pipe. Assuming that it starts on time, it will begin in April 2023, replacing the 60-year-old pipe for a newer pipeline that will sustain more corrosion and weather changes. This will come especially handy when the week-long winter cold front that occasionally comes around December or January arrives. The new transmission pipe will be larger, and since it will withstand corrosion more, there will be a lower chance of pipe bursts like we had this week.
The multiple breaks on the water transmission pipe in the past week in the Florida Keys go to show nothing slows down in the Keys. The break was fixed on Sunday around 8 am, about less than a day from the time it broke.