More Than Four Dozen Water-Main Breaks Since Friday

AMARILLO - There have been more than four dozen water-main breaks in Amarillo over the last few days, leaving many customers without water.

The City's Director of Water Utilities, Russell Grubbs, said it is due to the extreme changes in the weather. 

As the ground gets colder it causes a movement in the soil, which eventually causes the water lines to rupture

The city said about 50 water main breaks have occurred in the last five days, but, they are not calling it an increase or decrease, rather, it is just about average. 

Local plumbers, we spoke with said they are also seeing an uptick in customers.

Grubbs told us the dozens of water-main breaks since Friday is not just happening in one area, rather it is more widespread throughout the city. 

He said it is not just happening here in the Panhandle but basically all over the state. 

If you do find yourself dealing with a water main break or know someone who is, Grubbs said to just be patient.

"Right now most of the water breaks are lasting between four and five hours. My crews are working day and night. They are out working in the extreme cold. Just be patient. We're getting to them as soon as we can," said Grubbs.

Right now he said he has nine crews out today taking care of small leaks.

One interesting note Grubbs mentioned, he said as many breaks as we've had, they do have the potential of draining the water supply. 

That is why Grubbs said they are working around the clock to get them done and repaired as soon as possible.

Scottco's Operations Director, Jim Craig, said most of the water lines that freeze are typically on an outside wall where you have a kitchen or bathroom sink. 

He suggests leaving the cabinet doors open so the heat from your house can keep that area warm, and will reduce the likelihood of it freezing.

"If you leave the faucet turned off, you have a solid column of liquid there and it freezes. That's where you get the bursting of the pipes. It has nowhere else to go, and if you have the faucet open it can come out the faucet," said Craig.

He says most customers they see do not know they can open up cabinet doors or even put a heat lamp on it.

At the end of the day, the folks at Scottco told us prevention is key.

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