If a water main is going to break at village hall, you know one thing: It’s going to happen on a holiday.

Luckily a potential disaster was averted on Thanksgiving Day by an alert Brookfield police officer who noticed water pouring from around the west entrance stairs to the village hall building, 8820 Brookfield Ave.

A 3-inch cast iron water main broke beneath the concrete stairs of the west entrance sending water gushing from cracks in the sidewalk and foundation, areas around the door frame and edges of the curb.

Some water made its way into the hallway and offices of the code department and village president. More water leaked into the lower-level recreation hall and boiler room, but the building was spared major damage, said Assistant Village Manager Keith Sbiral.

On Nov. 27, a day after the flooding, a public works crew excavated a 10-foot deep, L-shaped trench around the stairway, and a plumbing contractor diverted the water main around the stairway.

Water service was shut off at the village hall until late on Friday. The offices were closed that day due to the two-day Thanksgiving holiday, so the flooding didn’t interrupt regular business hours.

Sbiral said on Monday he wasn’t sure what the cost for fixing the problem was. A five-man public works crew put in at least a day of overtime, in addition to the private contractor.

“Thank God the police found out when they did,” Sbiral said. “If it had been an hour or two later, it would’ve been a disaster.”

-Bob Uphues