Soils can shift during extended periods of cold weather, which can cause water lines to break, Oak Ridge Public Works Director Shira McWaters said Tuesday.
On Monday, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson told City Council members that crews had responded to 35 water main breaks since January 1, an average of about five per day.
“It is not unusual for water systems (nationwide) to experience above-average breaks during extended cold weather periods when the ground starts to freeze and the subsequent thawing when warm weather returns,” McWaters said when asked about the water line breaks on Tuesday. “This is due to the shifting of soils that can cause the breaks.”
In Oak Ridge, the age of the municipal water system is a factor in the frequency of the breaks because many of the lines are older and reaching the end of their useful life, McWaters said. [Read more…]