Quite a few water main breaks have been popping up recently across the metro. MUD has had 50 so far this year compared to 20 by this time a year ago. The brutal heat wave has something to do with it.
Crews responded to a water main break near 107th and I streets early Friday morning. Crews from various agencies were marking power lines, gas lines and anything else that might be below ground. “Find the break, call in all the locates to make sure we know where everything is, isolate the break, turn off the water.”
It's tough work considering they are dealing with traffic and flowing water, not to mention the hot temperatures, which is really to blame for the increase.
"The ground is drying much deeper and as you see cracks on the top of the ground, the ground cracks and it shifts a little bit and water mains are under a lot of pressure and they are very heavy and they are more prone to break when we have extreme weather changes like this,” says MUD’s Mark Doyle.
Doyle says these breaks have little to do with the condition of the system. “They are well maintained, well documented.”
Still, they have staff working 24/7, following up on any calls or change in pressure. “We are responding in a safe and effective manner. It's critical that we are extra vigilant around main breaks.”
Doyle says the public is often the best help, calling in possible water main breaks, giving locations and allowing for an even more immediate response. And take note, no call is too small. “It's a critical and very important job.”
To report a natural gas or water emergency, call your utility. MUD’s emergency line is 402-554-7777.