Water main break creates frozen mayhem for Spring Valley
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:21 AM
Spring Valley city maintenance and Public Utilities workers were singing the wintertime blues on Thursday after a water main broke in the early morning hours.
Public Utilities workers had to dig deep into the ground to search for the elusive break in the water main. After nearly two days of working in the frigid temps they are able to find and repair the break. PAULA VAGTS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
The break happened in the alley just behind Ladd's K9 and Big Bob's Eatery, filling the alley with slush, ice and a small river, which flowed on to Courtland Avenue.
Mother Nature gave no aid as the morning temps hovered around the -11 mark rising to a still frigid 2 degrees, causing the storm drains on the corner of Courtland and Broadway to freeze creating ponds more attune with a polar plunge than a city street.
The maintenance crew was thankful for their newly purchased loader, as it was needed to remove the large amounts of slush and ice as they worked to clean off the street.
By late Thursday morning the utilities crew was beginning the tedious task of digging more than 6 feet into the frozen alley to reach the main water line; from there they spent hours trying locating the break.
Unfortunately, they were unable to locate the break until Friday with repairs being completed by late afternoon.
Spring Valley Public Utilities Superintendent Stuart Smith reported all the repairs were made and now the finishing touches need to be completed.
As of Monday morning the alley was still blocked off as holes need to be filled in with gravel until the spring thaw allows the maintenance crew to permanently repair the damage.
This winter season has seen temperatures sit at arctic levels, creating a frost that has now reached almost five feet below the surface of the ground, much lower than average winters.
Smith says when this happens the ground shifts, putting pressure on pipes leading to breaks such as this one.
Within the last 10 days he noted that Public Utilities has worked to thaw seven homes due to the constant freeze.
And he does not expect the number to drop any time soon, as the ground will once again be on the move once the spring thaw makes its appearance, possibly creating more breaks and problems.
Needless to say this is one winter everyone would like to see end soon.