Archive for Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Baldwin battles water line breaks

December 17, 2003

Baldwin crews have had more than just snow plowing to keep them busy the past week.

Water line breaks have been springing up all over town, and Utility Director Terry McKinney said there's one reason for the sudden onslaught.

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"Moisture," he said.

This summer's lack of moisture, he said, coupled with the recent ice and snow storms, is causing the ground to shift around the water lines.

Four water line breaks have been discovered since the first week in December, McKinney said, and three of them can probably be attributed to the movement of ground.

"I think this happens when the ground first starts moving in the winter," he said. "We can expect to see more of this the first of spring when the ground thaws."

The only leak not caused by the ground shifting was the most recent one behind Sonic Sunday, he said, when a phone company hit the water line.

McKinney said most people have not been affected by the leaks, with the exception of Friday afternoon when the ground shifted and a valve failed in the 800 block of Seventh Street. He said some customers, mainly some downtown businesses, were without water for about three hours.

He said he doesn't expect the water line breaks to continue throughout the winter.

"We think it should settle down," he said.

But when one occurs, he said, crews will repair it as quickly -- and conveniently -- as possible.

"We try to minimize the inconvenience to the customers as much as we can," he said.

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