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Water/Waste Processing e-News / Municipal

Milwaukee city officials struggle with numerous water main breaks

May 22, 2014
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water main break <photocredit>Rick Gershon/Getty Images North America/Thinkstock</photocredit>

The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has experienced dozens of water main breaks over the past week, following the closedown of one of the two water treatment plants in the city on May 17 so that a leak in a pumping station could be repaired. A total of 64 water main breaks were reported as of May 20, according to Fox6Now.

Officials at the Milwaukee Water Works stated that operations at the Howard Avenue Water Treatment Plant had to be put on hold to prevent the leak from causing damage to the pumping station that supplied water to the facility. In order to repair the leak, both the pumping station and the plant were shut down.

But as the entire workload was transferred to the other water treatment plant, the Linnwood Plant, the water pressure had to be increased to ensure all parts of the city had drinking water supplied. The pressure proved too much for some of the old pipes and they started rupturing, causing water main breaks across the city.

The Milwaukee Water Works told the Journal Sentinel that the secondary leaks were being repaired and cleanup was underway in most affected areas of the city, but the original leak, just outside the Texas Avenue Pumping Station, was still being evaluated and repaired. Water delivery service has not been interrupted in any part of the city, officials confirmed.

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