On July 17, 2019, a subcontractor working for the City of Ft. Lauderdale damaged a 42-inch water line at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport during an overnight repair.
While using heavy boring machinery, the crew accidentally struck the pipe, leaving a 6-inch hole. This particular line brought fresh but untreated water from city wells to water treatment facilities, where it is then processed and distributed to consumers.
As a result of the line break, water had to be shut off to repair the pipe, leaving more than 220,000 Florida residents and businesses without water. The magnitude of the lack of water to businesses and homes caused an emergency situation.
The City of Ft. Lauderdale was under tremendous pressure to repair the pipe and restore water to the communities as quickly as possible. City officials tried to activate a by-pass line, but it failed, leaving the city stuck in a bad situation.