Cold Weather Causing Water Main Breaks in Columbus
Updated: Wednesday, January 23 2013, 08:17 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- The discomfort caused by low temperatures are being compounded by an increase in water main breaks in central Ohio.
Columbus Utilities Dept. spokesman George Zonders said crews are tackling nearly 40 water main breaks in the city. Zonders says the department has been forced to hire an outside contractor to assist with the repairs.
Workers strive to repair each break within two weeks of their initial report. That time-table seems a little long for many residents, but Zonders says the city has to consider the rest of the year when making staffing decisions.
If we had enough manpower to address every leak immediately, then in slow periods there would be a lot of people sitting around with not a lot to do and getting paid."
The city's budgetary concerns are not on currently on the minds of many Bexley Apartments residents, who are dealing with thick ice on an access road to their complex.
Its dangerous," resident Raheem West told ABC 6/FOX 28. "Theres no traction for cars trying to pull out, and anybody could come in here and lose control.
The utilities dept. maintains more than 3700 miles of water mains, some of which date back to the late 1880s. Zonders said the aging infrastructure is providing a challenge for workers because of cold winter weather.
Anyone who would like to report a broken water main is encouraged to contact the Columbus Call Center by calling 311.
Reporter: Lu Ann Stoia
Web Producer: Ken Hines