Cold snap caused water main breaks in Northeast

The prolonged cold snap in the Northeast is having a chilling effect on many water mains, as water inside pipes freezes, expands and causes breaks.


DENVER, Colo., Jan. 23, 2004 - The prolonged cold snap in the Northeast is having a chilling effect on many water mains, as water inside pipes freezes, expands and causes breaks.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) provides a deep reservoir of technical resources to assist utilities as they work in sub-zero conditions to keep water supplies safe and accessible. The American drinking water infrastructure spans more than 700,000 miles.

"Water professionals are working long hours in very cold and difficult circumstances to repair these water main breaks," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director. "We're glad to be in a position to provide some of the critical resources they need to meet the infrastructure challenges created by the bitter cold."

In Waterbury, Conn., a 24-inch water main break cut water to between 4,000 and 9,000 customers, and the cold weather made repairs difficult to complete.

The Village of Castleton in New York has lifted its boil water advisory after a water main break on Thursday. The break forced the closure of a road.

Water main breaks were also reported by media in Milford, Conn., Baltimore, Md., Seacaucus, N.J., and Bloomfield, Iowa, among many others.

AWWA's web site, www.awwa.org, contains information on preventing water mains from freezing, thawing water mains, water main replacement and repair, and safely working in severe cold weather. Utilities will also find a free downloadable pipe repair checklist and articles.

AWWA is a resource for knowledge, information and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of drinking water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world.

AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the drinking water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment.

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