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Water utility readies for possible main breaks | News

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Water utility readies for possible main breaks
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The city water utility said dropping temperatures early next week could tie up crews fixing water main issues.

Madison Water Utility spokeswoman Amy Barrilleaux said crews have been busy repairing three water mains that broke Thursday night due to cold weather.

The water utility has�dealt with an increased number of breaks this year due to the sudden cold�in December combined with a lack of deep, insulating snow cover to start the season.

"(In Madison, main breaks have) been pretty spread out everywhere -- the near east, far east, isthmus, near west and far west," Barrilleaux said in an email Friday.

With lows predicted to dip into temperatures around 25 degrees below zero with wind chills as cold as minus 40 to minus 55 by Monday morning, Barrilleaux said it's possible more water main issues could arise.

Barrilleaux said the water utility is prepared to respond to breaks beginning Sunday with repair crews, which includes 28 workers, on call.�

"They are ready to come in and work back-to-back shifts if necessary," Barrilleaux added.�

She said locating the break point in the pipe can take up to an hour and the repairs can take up to an additional three hours. The extreme cold can also delay repairs further.�



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