Extreme cold keeps water main repair crews busy | News
The extreme cold is creating lots of work for the local water utility.
Madison Water Utility spokeswoman Amy Barrilleaux said that seven water main breaks throughout the city Tuesday morning had all the department's repair crews out.
Barrilleaux said mains broke Tuesday on:
- Barby Lane
- Mohican Pass
- Havey Road
- Kingsbridge Road
- Tokay Boulevard
- Nautilus Drive
- and at East Main & Paterson streets
The harsh dip in temperatures is the cause of the multiple breaks, Barrilleaux said. It also makes fixing the breaks difficult.
"It always makes things a little bit slower because our crews have to take breaks and warm up," she said. The icy streets also have to be salted and drains plowed to take care of the extra water in the roadways.
But she said the Madison Water Utility prepares for tough weather.
"We always try to prepare for the harshest winter, and that's what we're seeing (right now)," Barrilleaux said. She said crews are prepared to head out in bad weather and fix mains.
Barrilleaux said preparation also means the department budgets about $1 million annually for water main fixes and has been at that budget the last few years including 2013, which was the highest number of breaks ever recorded by MWU, 306.
The water utility said there have been 86 main breaks so far in Madison in the month of January, which is up from last January's total of 82, and a leap from only 48 in January 2011.
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