Hamilton Kent Blog

Under the road: Water infrastructure and sinkholes

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In the wet spring and summer months, stories of gaping sinkholes (like this one and this one) start to make headline news. And every year, the public has to be re-educated about what sinkholes are.

It seems that when people hear about sinkholes, they think about potholes and poor road maintenance. We know, of course, that could not be more wrong. When the sinkhole is a manmade problem—not a natural one—leaking underground pipes are almost always to blame for land erosion deep beneath the surface of the road.  

So what do we do about it?

To us, the answer is clear: We need to upgrade our failing, aging infrastructure. At the very least, we need to seal pipe joints and connections. 

More specifically, preventing the costly catastrophe of a sinkhole starts with the installation of watertight infrastructure. The material matters; grouted joints and connections are not waterproof. Gaskets and flexible connectors made with rubber will provide the best seal that pipes need.  

Rubber gaskets will prevent any water that is in the soil from seeping through the joints. This prevents erosion of the soil surrounding these important structures and pipelines, which means sinkholes are unlikely to ever occur.

Watch our webinar, Connecting The Pipes, to learn more about how to make an entire underground pipe system watertight.