Houston heat causing pipes to burst

August 1, 2008 4:27:46 PM PDT
We could be coming upon the hottest weekend of the summer, and with the sun beaming down, the pressure is mounting, causing hundreds of pipes to burst around Houston every week.Dry conditions and the hot summer heat tend to cause water problems around Houston, and this summer is no exception. In fact, city of Houston officials tell us they're busier than ever right now stopping leaks.

It is an all too common sight in Houston. As temperatures go up, so do water main breaks, including the one in front of Roma Wantuck's house.

"They've got so many in Houston," she said. "They can't help it, but when water's going all over your street, you naturally would like them to get on top of it as soon as possible."

This particular water main broke on Monday, but the city of Houston didn't come out to fix it for four days; just the reality of a busy summer, where crews can get 1,400 water main break calls per month.

"Usually a water main break, if it's a minor one, can hold for about seven to 10 days - 15 days probably at the max," city of Houston representative Alvin Wright said. "We try to get to ones that actually affect more of the communities."

Heat-related water main breaks are so common that when a gusher in the Upper Kirby district exploded Thursday, city of Houston crews thought it was heat-related, only to realize it was actually caused by utility crews who drilled into the water line.

Nearby neighbors are used to the sight.

"Yeah, in the summer it's broken over there several different times," homeowner John Abbot said. "I don't know how many, but at least four."

But for the most part, the city of Houston says its crews are used to heavy workload, and homeowners are getting used to finding some patience.

"I do try to be understanding of all of the problems," Wantuck said.

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