Summer in Wichita Falls means hot temperatures. Unfortunately, it also means water main breaks and lots of them.
City officials say the city typically sees anywhere from seven to eight water pipes break a week but currently they are seeing 15 to 20. One of the main causes is the weather.
This has caused crews to be on the clock at all times to make sure the water stays running. Utility Operations Manager Daniel Nix says the weather plays a big role in the spike.
“When it gets really cold or it gets really hot we usually see an uptick in the number of water main leaks. It’s caused by the ground getting warmer and shifting the water inside the main is warmer so the main is expanding” said Nix.
This has caused crews to be out working in the heat for long hours of the day as a water main is not easily fixed.
“The excavation and it takes awhile to dig down. We have to dig are excavations safely. We have to watch out other utilities that are in the vicinity so I would say a normal run of the day main leak about four hours worst case scenario up to about 16 hours,” said Water Distribution Superintendent Chris Arnold.
Arnold says there isn’t much they can do to prevent it.
“When it cools off the demand goes down a little bit we will lower the pressure in the towers and that will relieve some of the pressure on the water lines and when it rains that helps also. But at this point there’s not a whole lot we can do to prevent them,” said Arnold.
These water mains breaking can be upsetting to residents but Arnold says they understand the difficult task.
“They know that we understand we have a job to do. They know that we don’t want to be there any more than they want us to be there. But we go out and we do the work and generally, they are very supportive and happy to see us out there taking care of the problem,” said Arnold.
The crews are working to get all of the locations fixed and keep the water running for families during these hot summer months.
For more information on who to call if you have a water emergency, click here.