Heat taking a toll on city’s water mains

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The heat wave is taking a big toll on the St. Louis water system. There were more than 1/2-dozen active breaks at one point Saturday, with triple digit temperatures expected again.

The biggest one to blow was a 20″ main at seventh and Biddle in the Shadow of the Edward Jones Dome near Downtown.

There was extensive damage and minor flooding. One car filled with water up to the driver’s seat.

The pavement lifted and split from the intersection for nearly a full block on Biddle to Eighth Street, with mud, rocks, bricks, and chunks of pavement covering much of Seventh, Eighth and Biddle. All three were likely to remain closed to traffic through Labor Day Weekend.

The Water Division Superintendent said it was a main transmission line and not a residential connector, so far fewer customers were impacted; water service was restored quickly with workers able to bypass the blown main.

He said the prolonged heat wave was a dual threat, with a surge in water usage leading to a surge in pressure through aging pipes, plus the ground around those pipes expanding and contracting in the summer sizzle.

With the backlog of main breaks, it could be a day or 2 before actual repair work was underway at Seventh and Biddle.

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