Cold Conditions To Blame for Water Main Breaks in Cedar Rapids


By Katie Stinson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - If the freezing cold wasn't bad enough, try stirring in a little water. That's what Cedar Rapids city crews did Monday, dealing with several water main breaks across the city.

The first call for David Packingham's crew came around 6 a.m., a water main cracked under the frozen ground. It's something he expects to see when temperatures get this cold.

"All ground shifts when it gets cold, so when the ground shifts, something has to give and sometimes it is our pipes," Packingham said.

When a pipe breaks, it sends water into the streets and leaves homeowners with a red tag on the door, letting them know their water is out. It typically affects anywhere from two houses to 50 houses.

Crews have to dig to find the leak first and then attach a metal patch to seal the pipe permanently.The cold doesn't make that easy, making metal parts brittle and causing some pieces to break.

"We're up here fighting the elements, the machines are fighting the elements and we have to fight the frost that is in our ground too,"
Packingham said.

One leak took Packingham's crew six hours to fix, and when it is this cold, there was another one waiting for a patch across town.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.

read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG