Extreme heat causing water main breaks region w
by Chad Hedrick, originally posted on August 30, 2016
ASHLAND, Ky (WSAZ) – The summer months in our region have warm to say the least, and the rise in temperatures has caused issues with several water lines across our region.
Though there can be several causes for water main breaks, one has been more prevalent than others this summer, the rise in the water temperatures in the rivers.
According to water treatment officials, the water temperatures in area rivers like the Ohio and Kanawha, are running in the mid to high 80s. Normally this time of year they’re in the mid 70’s. When the warmer water runs through the metal pipes, the pipes expand at a faster rate than they are used to, hence the breaks.
Laura Martin with West Virginia American Water tells WSAZ when air temperatures are severely warm or cold, they do see a spike in breaks.
“These periods where we have days upon days of temperatures in the 90s certainly does seem to have an impact of water main breaks that we see.”
Ashland City Engineer Ryan Eastwood tells WSAZ the city has seen 39 breaks in the last month. About 30 of them have been attributed to the water temperatures. On average, Eastwood says the city sees about 16 breaks a month.
Another concern with the heat is the crews out working in the conditions to keep the water on for customers.
“We take safety as a very high priority,” says Eastwood. “We make sure that our crews are safe that they’re hydrated and they constantly have electrolytes and they’re able to get into the air conditioning as often as they need to.”
According to officials, there is no reason to believe that tax payers will see a rise in water bills because of the increased number of breaks.