Work orders double for Cassville Public Works

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

January cold keeps city employees busy fixing leaks, main breaks

In January, Cassville's Public Works Department saw the number of work orders double compared to Januarys past.

"It was very unusual," said Steve Walensky, Cassville public works director. "The norm is about 35-40."

January had 76 orders, including: 33 broken pipes, a leak at water tower 4 and two main breaks.

According to Walensky, most of the damage occurred on Jan. 6, when the temperature dropped to below 5 degrees. When the temperature went back to 35 degrees on Jan. 8, the leaks became noticeable.

When the weather is cold the water may freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack under the pressure. When it thaws and begins to flow again, the damage shows up.

Walensky said the damage reported was in private homes and businesses. Places that do not have water shut off have to call public works. If the home has its own shut-off, it may be fixed without being reported.

As temperatures drop again, Walensky offers advice to residents to avoid these problems:

* Keep the heat running in all parts of the house. If there is not heat in a room with pipes, they may burst.

* Use heat tape or a heat cable to provide extra insulation to the pipes.

* Keep a trickle of water going. Running water will not freeze.

For more information about preventing water leaks and burst pipes, people may call Cassville Public Works at 417-847-4441, extension 16.

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