Claims personnel are often called to a building with a large loss caused by water leakage from underground water piping systems. Investigating the cause is an integral part of the claims adjustment process since it bears on insurance coverage as well as potential subrogation. The first step is finding the source of the water and determining the nature of the leak.

Photographing the source and documenting the circumstances of the leakage are helpful for those who will be performing a more detailed analysis of the problem.

The following case study illustrates a water leakage loss as a result of a failed underground pipe. Figure 1 is a photograph of a large industrial building that sustained a substantial water loss from a failed four-inch water pipe near an exterior wall. The underground pipe was sufficiently close to the exterior wall that once the leakage occurred, the water was able to enter the building, causing significant water damage to the products and machinery.

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