SHEBOYGAN — In one week, Sheboygan Water Utility responded to six water main breaks in frigid temperatures.
In the first seven days of this year, Sheboygan Water Utility repaired six water main breaks across the City of Sheboygan, with the majority of the breaks occurring on the city’s south side. On New Year’s Day, crews were sent to dual main breaks on Humbolt Avenue near Christ Child Academy. Two days later, crews were back in the neighborhood repairing a break in the 2600 block of Henry Street.
“In winter, the cold weather conditions make main break repair more challenging,” said Joe Trueblood, the superintendent of Sheboygan Water Utility. “This is mostly due to difficulties of working in cold weather and water freezing, creating additional hazards.”
The break can also be more difficult to locate because frost can make water come to the surface far from the break itself added Trueblood. In winter, there are additional stresses due to frost penetrating the soil profile and also the water itself becoming colder. A typical water main takes about four to five hours for diagnosis and basic repair. Street restoration typically comes a day or two later.
Last Thursday, SWU crews were called to a water main break on North 23rd Street near Kohler Memorial Drive. Crews worked into the early morning hours in the extreme cold to repair a 12 inch break. Then on Friday, technicians were called back to the area of Christ Child Academy for a break outside the Catholic grade school.