High temps and drought conditions cause water line breaks in Midland

High temps and drought conditions cause water line breaks in Midland
High temps and drought conditions cause water line breaks in Midland(CBS7)
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 3:39 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Cities across Texas, including Midland, are dealing with a rise in water main breaks, mainly due to the drought conditions.

These breaks, unfortunately, lead to water service disruptions for countless residents.

On average The City of Midland deals with 2 - 3 water line breaks a day which can cause water outages for several hours for residents dealing with these water line breaks.

Carl Craigo has been with the city for the last eight years and this has been the worst summer yet for water line breaks.

“So, I’ve been here eight years, and this is by far the worst summer we’ve had with broken lines. We don’t normally have these conversations. From what I understand back in 2011 we had a very similar issue” said Carl Craigo, City of Midland Utilities Director

This summer has been a hot one for West Texans as we’ve all experienced triple-degree temps for the last couple of months.

Drought conditions caused very dry ground which makes the ground move, shrink, and contract creating problems for Midland’s cast iron lines.

“So, it’s just that this drought has caused lots of problems with breaks. Luckily here cast iron is mainly 12-inch water lines or lower so it’s localized breaks meaning a couple of people will be without water for a time frame. It’s not a big city outage but it’s still a lot of water mains breaking” said Craigo

The development of the city’s water line came in spurts, lines were placed in every decade from the 1950s till today.

To update some of those older lines, the city council approved a plan to put two million dollars a year towards replacing all four-inch water mains.

“A lot of the water mains, especially on the south side of town when they were put in regulations, were different, so those lines are very shallow which makes the water hot. Last week the water down in the southeast side of town was around 90 degrees coming out of the taps. So, the new lines will go in and be deeper and the water will stay cooler and make water quality better” said Craigo

The city plans to start replacing old lines starting inside the loop down to the southeast side of town.

“We’re going to focus on areas we know we have a lot of breaks first and then we’re going to focus on the Southeast side of town because it’s some of the oldest pipes in town and then come north as we move,” said Craigo

If you experience a water line break, please call 432- 685-7270 which is the water waste, water maintenance crew.