Impact of Water Main Breaks on Hospitals and Care Facilities

It is important to upgrade the drinking water infrastructure and invest in efficient in-house water filtration and disinfection systems to ensure public health is protected.


Water infrastructure in North America is reaching a critical point, with water main break rates increasing by 27% from 2012 to 2018. A recent survey showed that large cities across the US average 25 breaks for every 100 miles of water main per year, threatening public health and safety. These cracks and fractures create entry points for harmful bacteria and pathogens contaminating the treated water. Water main breaks can have a big impact on hospitals and care facilities. That’s why it’s important for them to have efficient in-house water treatment systems.

Cause of Water Main Breaks

The pipes used for water delivery in North America vary in age and material, making it difficult to pinpoint a single reason for their failure. The following factors contribute to the breakdown of pipelines:

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that replacing or refurbishing the aging drinking water pipelines will cost USD 312.6 billion and take 20 years. Unfortunately, the current approach to water main breaks is reactive, with repairs only being made after a break occurs. This slow process of discovery and restoration leaves thousands of people without water for extended periods.

hospital care

Impact of Water Main Breaks on Hospitals and Care Facilities

The impact of water main breaks is amplified in regions that include hospitals and care facilities. Boil Water Advisory (BWA) notices have serious implications for these establishments. According to a report by the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), if water service is interrupted, healthcare capabilities are significantly impacted within two hours. BWA notices impact the following activities:

The Cost of Water Main Breaks on Hospitals and Care Facilities

During emergency water crises, hospitals and care facilities have to use a lot of resources. They have to postpone elective surgeries, redirect outpatients, and relocate severely immunocompromised patients. Facilities must have in-house water filtration and disinfection systems to guarantee that the water is free from contaminants and microbes. This prevents the occurrence of costly and inconvenient situations.

Investing in In-House Water Treatment Systems

Investing in a robust in-house water treatment system is a crucial step for any healthcare facility instead of relying on water supplied by the local municipality. The superior efficacy of UV light in combating pathogenic waterborne microorganisms makes it a unique disinfection system, as it does not require a secondary disinfection step. When combined with a top-of-the-line filtration system, a UV disinfection system is one of the most important investments that any hospital and care facility can make to ensure the safety of its patients and staff.



Water main breaks in North America are a serious problem that can lead to water loss and health risks. Aging pipelines, temperature changes, and corrosion cause damage. Upgrading drinking water infrastructure is crucial. Hospitals and care facilities are hit the hardest and must take extra precautions to prevent contamination. This highlights the importance of efficient in-house water filtration and disinfection systems. UV disinfection systems, combined with top-of-the-line filtration systems, are a crucial investment for any hospital or care facility to make. These measures help protect public health and prevent the debilitating effects of water main breaks on our healthcare facilities.

Date 01/02/2023


Nuvonic is the innovator in sustainable UV technology for water, air and surface disinfection on a global scale. Our mission is to support nature’s purity with science by protecting people and processes from harmful contamination.

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