Cold Temperatures Bring Potential for Water Main Breaks - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Cold Temperatures Bring Potential for Water Main Breaks

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The cold temperatures bring the possibility for more water main breaks.

Part of Downing Ave. was closed Thursday between East 12th and Buffalo Road for that reason.

Erie Water Works crews expected to have it fixed by 8 or 9 p.m. Thursday.

Only a handful of customer have been impacted.

The recent snow is actually helping to prevent more water main breaks.

"We are a little fortunate this year with that snow, even though it may seem like a problem," said Paul Vojtek, CEO of Erie Water Works. "For us, it actually insulates the ground. It keeps the ground from freezing. The frozen ground is one of the main causes with truck traffic and car traffic. It acts as a shock absorber on our pipes. When that freezes, we lose that shock absorber. The snow kind of keeps it from freezing."

To prepare for the cold, Water Works said it flushes the lines because when temperatures drop, oxygen can build up in the water lines and create air pockets that pop.

Starting Jan. 2, Water Works will switch to 24-hour shifts, so it can quickly respond to any breaks.

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