Water issues continue into spring

MASON CITY, IA – It seems everyone has heard of, or knows someone, who is without water this winter because of freezing pipes, but there’s another issue denying people of water even during these warmer temperatures.

It turns out; water mains are just as likely to break when temperatures start to rise.

“As it’s getting cold and warming up there’s an equal chance of both,” says Mason City Engineer, Mark Rahm.

That’s exactly what the ground is doing now as temperatures rise into the 40’s. Over the winter, Rahm says his crew responded to around 18 water main breaks and he expects to see more as the mercury climbs.

Late last week was the first break in Mason City that Rahm blames on the warming temperatures, and it likely won’t be the last.

“In the Spring time, when the thaw starts going through, you know, those soils start to contract again so they’re moving around, shifting, and you know depending on how things move it can snap or break the water main,” added Rahm.

Thankfully it’s easier to fix a water main break than it is waiting for pipes to thaw. Depending on how long it takes crews to find the break and how deep it is, Rahm says fixing these breaks typically only takes 6-8 hours.

While you can’t do much to prevent a water main break, it’s good to be aware of the issue, because the start of spring is probably not the end of water issues.

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