Nice Weather Helps Break SF Water Mains
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
March 07, 2012 9:48 PM
Five water main breaks caused some havoc for Sioux Falls public works. As a number of homes and businesses were left without running water.
The pipes came rolling into downtown Sioux Falls to repair one of the five water main breaks.
The ruptures started late Tuesday night when public works crews were trying to lower all the liquid out of the water tower at Menlo Park, so they could repaint the inside of it.
“We did it in such a slow measured approach because once you bring that down then you start to push more water from the plant,” said Sioux Falls City Engineer Mark Cotter.
Draining the water tower wasn't the only reason so many water mains broke.
“I think a combination of a change in those pressures, even though modest and that having it being nearly 70 degrees Tuesday,” said Cotter.
While pipes are usually 6 feet below the ground, it’s the parts that reach above the surface that add the extra pressure.
“It’s connected to the surface through surface connections, valve boxes, and man holes,” said Cotter.
After crews were done making repairs and sealing up holes they had dug, it was time for the clean up.
“We're in the recovery stage. So, we're patching the streets back and we're sweeping the streets,” said Cotter.
A watery mess that ruptured water pipes downtown and in neighborhoods is sealed up and cleaned up. And the city's water system is running as normal.