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Heat Causes 700 Water Main Breaks Daily in Houston
August 21, 2011 from AccuWeather.com
Days of hot weather and aging water pipes have resulted in daily water main breaks throughout Texas.
Houston's Mayor Annise Parker told MSNBC that the city is experiencing over 700 breaks a day along 7,000 miles of pipes. The city normally averages about 200 breaks a day in the summer.
Arlington is averaging about six breaks a day, Fort Worth is dealing with about nine or 10 a day, and Ennis has gone from about one a week to about one a day, according to Cbslocal.com.
The pipes are breaking due to being weakened and corroded with age and soil too dry to handle the expansion of the pipes. Without the soil against the pipes to help contain the pressure, the pipes break.
The city of Houston has been left with no choice but to ration water. The mayor stated that there will be warnings and an informational campaign in an attempt to persuade people to comply voluntarily. The restrictions are mandatory, and people who do not comply will receive citations.
The water shortages are compounded by the fact that it is necessary to flush each water line after repairs are made. This is done to remove air and sediment from the lines and to get chlorine to acceptable levels.
Each line flush can cause a loss of about 10,000 gallons of water.
Residents in cities affected by the drought have been asked to restrict their water usage to only that which is essential to living.
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