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Pittsburg works on solution to fix waterline breaks - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg works on solution to fix waterline breaks

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The City of Pittsburg has been experiencing a record number of waterline breaks due to the dry summer.  In the last 20 days the city has seen about 31 waterline breaks, the same as last month, which set the record.

"We've added extra crews, we've assembled new crews, we're answering calls day and night," says Public Utilities Director John Bailey.

Bailey expects 30% more breaks this month compared to last - a little more than one a day.

But Pittsburg has approved a budget project aimed at fixing the problem.

"Obviously the majority of the community still has old pipes and we're slowly going to be replacing those," says Bailey.  "It's going to take a few years to get this done.  It took a long time to build it and it's going to take a long time to rebuild it."

Some water pipes in the city are close to 100 years old.

Over the next five years acres of piping will be replaced with plastic based piping.

In addition to that program, the city is working in areas like one where an ductal iron pipe more than 80 years old recently ruptured.

"We're actually going to try to be proactive and replace old waterlines that we know are defective with newer stuff and try to get better fire protection," says Bailey.  "I think it will be a win-win for everybody."

"The city was very, very considerate," says resident Rosemary Ryan.  "They would come and tell me everything that they were going to do and what to expect and if there was any questions.  I was very pleased with the way the city handled it."

Ryan experienced two waterline breaks on her property and is glad to see the city taking this approach.

"It's probably good," Ryan says.  "We have to go along with the times and improve things.  I've never had any problems with any of the water."

The cost of changing the pipes is about $250,000 annually.

The first section to receive work will be the Turner Addition, which will cover a six block area.

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