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Record Water Main Failures In Bloomington

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:19:48 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

The Bloomington Water Department says the cold weather has already caused a record number of water main breaks for February. Through February 17th there have been 22 main breaks. The monthly average is 11. And the prolonged cold period has frozen some water service lines solid even buried several feet below ground. The Water Department says that hasn't happened for years. Generally December and January are the highest months for water main breaks because the cold water flowing through old cast iron mains causes the metal to become brittle and areas of corrosion can fracture. Water Director Craig Cummings says some failures have happened in mains that are more than 75 years old, but many have also occurred in lines that were installed in the 1950s through the 70s simply because of the extreme conditions. Frost penetration to deeper depths than average also causes soil to shift. The City provides water service to about 100,000 households in McLean County

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