Frigid temperatures in the Paris area during the first two weeks of January caused a spike in water line breaks, according to Bradley Reames, the city’s water department supervisor.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve had about 15 water leaks,” Reames said last Friday. “Under average weather conditions, we’d see maybe three leaks in the same amount of time.”
Residences and businesses saw water leaks, as well.
“We’ve had 30 shut off requests because of leaking pipes,” Reames said.
“When it gets really cold, the ground moves and pipes will break,” Reames said. “It’s just expansion or contraction of the ground. It happens in very cold or very hot weather.”
Reames said the leaks have been reported all over town.
“It’s north, south, east and west,” he said. “It’s everywhere.”
Of course, the leaks required time to fix. For example, Reames said last Friday, his four-person crew was working seven leaks.
“That’s not a lot of leaks to work at one time,” he said. “That’s typical for this time of year. The most we’ve had in one day was four. We worked on those for three nights and four days and those were big leaks. In the last two weeks, all of us combined, I’d say we’ve got 50 hours of overtime. In the last two weeks, I’d say we’ve worked probably four nights. We went one at about 1 a.m. this morning.”
Reames said that in very cold weather, the best thing property owners can do is leave weater dripping so pipes won’t freeze.
It looks like Reames, his crew and property owners are going to catch a break from the winter weather for the remainder of this month. According to the long range forecast, Paris is supposed to see highs in the 40s, 50s or 60s until the end of the month and lows in the middle 30s and above.