Water Department sees increase number of main breaks this winter

Water Department sees increase number of main breaks this winter (Image 1)

Friday morning News 2 cameras captured massive amounts of water shooting into the air on Timothy Drive off Otter Creek in Forest Hills.

“This is something we deal with every day. Many times with these breaks, just as the one this morning we don't know what caused them,” said Sonia Harvat, Manager of Strategic Communications of Metro Water Services.

News 2 went to the Water Department to find out why there have been so many water main break this winter.

In January, there were 168 water main breaks. That's close to double the amount that is typically seen this time of year.

In February, there were 48 and that is on track with the norm.

Metro Water Service workers said even though the total number is high, they are not surprised because of the extremely cold and fluxuating temperatures.

“We would have really cold temperatures, it would put cold water through those pipes and cause the ground to freeze, then the next day it would warm up,” said Harvat.

The city has about 300 miles of underground water pipes ranging from small pipes about two to four inches to 36 to 40 inch pipes.

“It's a lot of infrastructure to maintain. We are constantly doing work on it to keep it functioning as it should,” said Harvat.

The department said its water woes aren't breaking the bank. It will be a couple months before all the invoices are in but the water department said going over budget isn't a concern.

Meantime, officials are looking into what caused the Friday morning frustration for residents.

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