Several water breaks keep crews busy

CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) — Water main breaks in Campbell kept the water department busy on Sunday.

There were two breaks at the same time, the first one happened around 10 a.m.

There was so much water coming from the break it caused some traffic issues along 422.

Crews had to go several feet underground to make repairs to the pipes.

During the break, the workers had a bit of an issue. They hit a gas line while trying to fix the water main break, which caused a slow down for the repairs.

The Youngstown Water department said water main breaks are happening more frequently during the winter season because of the cold weather.

“For the first part of the winter we weren’t too bad. Of course when it gets colder, when it gets colder for a longer period of time like it’s been, that’s when the mains start breaking and snapping. But still, we’re not near where we were last year,” said Joe Dunlap of the Youngstown Water Department.

Dunlap said freezing temperatures are to blame for pipes bursting, but that’s not the only reason.

“The older ones, we have them up to 100 maybe a little over 100 years old. So the old cast iron mains, you’re not going to stop them from breaking, those are the ones that are snapping left and right. The newer ductile mains, they don’t break,” Dunlap said.

Plumbers in the area said it’s a challenge getting the job done.

“The exterior freezing from the street curb box to the home, actually on my own, I’ve had five calls in the last week for that. I’ve not seen that in 30 years. Some of them we can thaw and some of them we’re not getting thawed out yet,” said Dunlap.

Depending on where you live and work, it determines if and how often you’ll experience a water main break.

“Where we’re experiencing the major part of the breaks it with the old cast iron, which is in the old part of town, mainly in the city of Youngstown,” said Dunlap.

He also said he understands the frustrations from residents, but the department can’t control Mother Nature.

“When it starts thawing people think it’s going to get better, but what happens is when it starts thawing, the ground gets saturated. The ground gets heavier, weighs it down. You have the movement, you have the shifting of the earth, and of course find a weak spot in the main and it’ll break,” finished Dunlap.

Dunlap also explained that he has crews out all during the day ready to repair water main breaks and reminded residents if they have a pipe that breaks after normal business hours, there is still someone on call to respond to emergencies.


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