Water Mains are Bursting at the Seams (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw

August 6, 2013 Updated Aug 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) – It happens every day around Fort Wayne, and it always proves to be a nuisance to our city’s drivers. Water main breaks appear to be more and more common on area road ways.

Just yesterday, drivers were forced to detour on South Clinton near Rudisill due to a main break. City Utility crews are doing all they can about the breaks at this time and continue to push to improve underground pipes for the future.

It is their goal to replace 12 miles of pipes every year, which translates to roughly one percent of approximately 1,100 miles of pipes under the city. For now, all they can do is continue to fix each leak and burst on an as-needed basis.

"It's very similar to at home,” says Frank Suarez with City Utilities. “You may have a small leak in your roof and because its an expensive repair you choose to patch it and repair it to get a little bit more life out of it. And it still works. Then at some point you make the decision that 'I've got to make that replacement.' And so you don't always replace it because there's one break, you can make repairs that can last quite a while sometimes."

Through August 6, 2013 there have been 183 water main breaks in Fort Wayne, which is actually below the pace set last year when we saw 465 breaks.

And as Suarez points out, water mains can break for any number of reasons.

"They break a lot because the ground shifts, and there's heat and freeze that affects it, just like it affects a road. So those are some of the reasons. And also corrosion. I'd say probably well over 60-percent of our pipes - water pipes - break or need to be replaced because of corrosion that happens through time."




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