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Allegheny

PWSA had more than 100 water main breaks in first 2 weeks of January

| Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, 4:48 p.m.
Frank J. Zottola Construction, Inc. was contracted by PWSA to dig up service lines of homes to see whether they were made of lead in Perry North on Thursday, August 10, 2017.
Frank J. Zottola Construction, Inc. was contracted by PWSA to dig up service lines of homes to see whether they were made of lead in Perry North on Thursday, August 10, 2017.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has had to repair more than 100 water main breaks in the first two weeks of January — more than it repaired in the entire month of January 2017.

During the height of this month's cold snap, PWSA was spending about $90,000 per day on contractors to keep up with the repairs, said Mora McLaughlin, a PWSA spokeswoman.

“These frigid days coinciding with warm spells have caused a rapid increase in water main breaks, damaged valves, and frozen pipes across PWSA's water service area,” a PWSA news release said.

This is the coldest January on record for Pittsburgh, with a mean temperature of 18.4 degrees, the National Weather Service tweeted Jan. 17.

“When temperatures rise and fall continuously, we see a freezing and thawing of the pipes and the soil around them — this results in a greater chance of cracked pipes, especially with infrastructure that is an average of 90 years old,” interim Executive Director Robert Weimar said in the release.

Last January, the authority repaired 66 water mains and 30 service lines, the release said.

In the first two weeks of this January, PWSA repaired more than 100 water mains and dozens of service lines, the release said. On Jan. 16 alone, four PWSA crews and 10 contract crews were scheduled.

To update your contact info to receive PWSA robocalls to be notified of the work, visit this web page .

More information is available here .

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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