Changing temps cause string of water main breaks
So far there have been 50 water main breaks in December.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Rising temperatures after an extreme cold spell caused nearly two dozen active and possible water main breaks across Nashville Wednesday, according to a Metro Water Services (MWS) outage map.
MWS says the most likely culprit is frozen ground thawing and causing pipes to shift underground.
In the areas of water main breaks, nearby homeowners and business owners can experience low water pressure.
“Over the years the ground shifts around and those pipes move a little bit,” Metro Water spokesperson Sonia Allman said. “They can clearly only move so much before they become weakened.”
MWS maintains more than 3,000 miles of underground water pipes, ranging in age and size.
Allman says there are likely more water main breaks out there they haven’t discovered yet. She says if you see water flowing down your street or in your yard/field, give MWS a call if it hasn’t already been reported on their outage map.
“We knew that our busy period would not occur until temperatures began to warm up,” Allman said. “The sooner we can get any of this water loss stopped, the faster our system can recover and return to normal.”
The record for monthly water main breaks in Nashville was 132 in February 2021 - during another period of intense cold, according to MWS. So far this December, there have been more than 50.
“So we have not hit those peaks that we have in the past, but we also know that we probably have broken out there that we’re not aware of,” Allman said.
Warmer temperatures can also reveal residential pipes that have broken, now that they are thawing.
MWS says it will likely continue finding water main breaks for the next few days.
To view their outage map, click here.
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