But not so with those breaks spring seems to cause every year on public water lines.
A break in a 30-inch main on Offnere Street near Greenlawn Cemetery on Monday, affected surrounding homes and businesses, as well as Portsmouth Elementary School.
According to elementary school Vice Principal Kristi Toppins, the city issued a boil water advisory for the area on Monday, and the school immediately closed off all of the water fountains in the school building to prevent students from drinking from them.
"We had to wait 48 hours, so Monday and Tuesday, we provided water to all the students," Toppins said.
Some students reportedly also were bringing their own bottled drinks to school.
Toppins said cafeteria workers used bottled water in their food preparation. She said the water inside the dishwasher was heated enough to safely clean cafeteria dishes. Because a boil advisory does not affect restroom usage, those facilities remained open to students and staff members.
By Wednesday afternoon, the boil advisory had been lifted and the school fountains were opened once again.
Mark Tindill, assistant to distribution supervisor Rick Bates, said the leak in the 30-inch line was the culprit that spiked bottled water sales.
Workers with Boone Coleman Construction Inc., of West Portsmouth, replaced a seven-foot section of the line. The hole that had to be dug in the street near the entrance to the cemetery had been filled and covered with concrete by Wednesday afternoon.
On top of the Monday break, Tindill said, a break in a 12-inch water line on 11th Street - between Gay and Findlay streets - had been undergoing repairs for more than two weeks.
"That one was a chaser," he said, meaning the exact spot where the break occured was not evident. The leak had to be traced down by first digging up one half of the street and then the other.
That leak, too, had been repaired by Wednesday afternoon and was ready for paving, according to Matt Bratchett and Ashley Smith, both laborers for ELP Construction Co., of Portsmouth.
G. SAM PIATT and RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, extensions 236 and 235, respectively.