Roller-coaster weather causes spike in water main breaks in Wate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Roller-coaster weather causes spike in water main breaks in Waterloo

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Waterloo Water Works says they've repaired eight water main breaks in just three weeks, and fluctuating temperatures may be to blame. 

Most recently, crews repaired a water main break on Rainbow Dr. Tuesday morning. The city closed off Rainbow Dr. from Greenhill Rd. to S. Hackett Rd, re-routing traffic. 

Waterloo Water Works Foreman Steve Kerns says the roller coaster weather is causing big problems for pipes.

"You know, the temperatures have been kind of up and down," said Kerns. "And warm temperatures, everything seems to settle, and we're having a little shifts in our water main. We've had several water main breaks."

Kerns explains the ground may seem stable but it's always moving and the constant freezing and thawing is making this movement all more severe.

"Usually when we get a little warm weather, the ground kind of moves a little on us," said Kerns.  "And we're just getting a lot of shear breaks. Just a lot of the same movements. We're finding a lot of the same circular breaks." 

Crews dug a hole to reach the water main, which is about six feet deep.

There was relief on the part of most homeowners who still had water. 

"Everything's fine here at the house," said Keith Gardner. "I took a shower this morning and in the midst of trying to clear the snow, I've checked the water a few times and I still have water service."

Only one neighbor lost water, and city officials say that's because they had enough valves to isolate the break, saving a headache for an entire neighborhood. 

"We've got a sewer guy here, because we've got an intake that got washed out, actually got washed out from this main break,' said Kerns. 

Crews detoured traffic into late afternoon so they could make the repair and patch the road up. By 3:00 p.m., water was back on and crews cleared and reopened Rainbow drive. 

Waterloo Water Works says last year they had 43 water main breaks which is considered average. However, this recent spike because of temperatures is a concern. 

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