Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Water main break inconveniences some Colorado Springs residents

December 5, 2013 Updated: December 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm
0

Recent dramatic weather changes could have contributed to a water main break that Colorado Springs Utilities officials estimated would take at least six hours to fix, keep 17 homes without water Thursday.

The water break was called in shortly after 8 a.m. but icy road conditions and below freezing temperatures stalled repair crews, who arrived at the site on the 4600 block of Bluestem Lane, off Oro Blanco Drive and Barnes Road, for nearly two hours.

"With these kinds of temperatures, it takes a little bit longer than normal to make repairs, just getting to the location can be challenging," utilities spokesman Steve Berry said.

As temperatures in El Paso County dropped as far as minus 23 degrees overnight, some of the region's pipes suffered the effects of what Berry explained as a unique freeze-and-thaw cycle. Temperatures fluctuate drastically in Colorado, he said, causing the ground to shift and change constantly, affecting the pipes.

"The pipes in that neighborhood are made of cast iron and were put in during the 1970s," Berry said. "There's a lot less give in that material than in the newer PVC pipes."

Repair crews had not determined for the cause of the break to the six-inch diameter pipe, but Berry guessed that the age of the pipes, combined with arctic conditions, played a role.

"It's even harder to patch asphalt in this weather," Berry said.

Luckily, the water that leaked onto Bluestem Lane ran off about two blocks downhill and into a storm drain, not raising concerns about icy roads. Often during winter months, that adds to repair crews' worries because they may have to block off road access, which makes things worse if a pipe bursts in a heavily-used roadway.

"We just really need customers to be patient," Berry said.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.