Water main breaks are costing millions to repair

Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - There's a problem lurking under the streets of Montgomery. The problem is the city's water pipes. They're old, brittle and breaking.

Just today a water main broke in front of a Downtown business. These types of break are typical problems that costs the Water Works millions every year.

The Water Works Department is getting constant calls to repair water main breaks.

The primary problem is that the pipes are out of sight and out of mind until it's too late.

It has become all too familiar work for Montgomery Water Works crews.

Almost daily they're repairing water main breaks. They said that they've even done about 80 in one month. The problem? Old pipes.

Water Works Director Buddy Morgan says the water main pipe on North McDonough Street near Downtown, that simply split open, is probably 70 or 80 years old.

It's a problem that's occurring all across Montgomery and it takes a chunk out of the Water Works' budget.

Morgan says his department spends about $10 million dollars a year on repairs. With the help of some new technology they hope to reduce that amount.

"Thanks to Trenchless technology we can go in and don't have to dig up the entire street," stated Morgan.

That same technology is being used on Brantwood Drive in the Morningview neighborhood after neighbors complained of rust colored water.

Instead of replacing the pipes crews will revamp them. This will add another 50 years of life to the pipe while saving the Water Works a third in costs.

Morgan expects they'll have the work complete in the Morningview neighborhood by the end of summer.

Residents won't have to pay for the water while the crews are making the repairs. It's a little benefit for their inconvenience.

The sizable hole created by the water main break on North McDonough has been filled in now.

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