Ripe For Failure: Mother Nature And Old Pipes Mean Water Main Breaks
Adam Smeltz | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
New Year’s champagne had barely gone flat last January when the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority booked an uncelebrated distinction, logging a record 87 water main breaks for the month.
Wet weather, wild temperature swings and worn pipes made conditions ripe for such failures. Although this winter appears gentler for PWSA — main breaks last month dipped nearly 16 percent compared to the prior December — the city’s biggest water provider isn’t banking on fairer days to keep spent pipes from busting.
A multi-million-dollar program targeting the crucial delivery lines should replace several miles of small-diameter mains in 2020 after workers finish designs this year, PWSA spokesman Will Pickering said. It’s part of the 12-year improvement plan the municipal utility outlined in November, pledging reinvigorated maintenance and better service…(read the full story).