Fifty-year-old water main breaks, but not from age - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fifty-year-old water main breaks, but not from age

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The oldest water main in Waterloo breaks early this morning. The pipe was the main line for the Waterloo Water Works building. Though the pipe is more than fifty years old, age was not a factor.

Most of the water is gone, but crews still have work to do. The pipe burst on third street, forcing workers to rip up the concrete to get closer to the problem.

Water gushing out of the broken pipe and onto the street.

"It sounds like what probably happened is the fitting was pushed up off the end of the pipe and that's what caused the leak because it happens fairly suddenly once the fitting lets go that's when the water erupts," said Dennis Clark, Waterloo Water Works general manager.

Erupting leaving crews to clean up the mess.

Dennis says the pipe that caused the problem is from the 1950's, while that might seem old, some pipes in Waterloo date back over one-hundred years.

"Some are dated from the 1800's up until a few weeks old but the corrosion of our system is a constant ongoing battle." said Clark.

An on going battle deciding which pipes to replace.

"The pipe down town, again because of it's age and the way it is constructed, is appearing to be much more durable then a lot of our newer pipe," said Clark.

And Clark says new pipe seems to be the biggest problem in Waterloo.

"It's a little bit counter intuitive, a lot of our older pipes are in the central older part of the city, the down town area, those pipes are in very good condition the pipes that we have most of our problems with are the pipes that were installed right after World War II," said Clark.

He also says he wishes it was as easy as picking out the oldest pipes in the town to replace,but unfortunately it isn't.

Waterloo Water Works  is looking into corrosion levels when deciding which pipes to replace.

The water main break did not affect any customers and is being replaced.

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