HAZELWOOD, MO (KTVI) – Freezing temperatures and water main breaks can make for some treacherous conditions. That was certainly the case early Wednesday morning in Hazelwood along busy Lindbergh Boulevard.
A water main break led to icy conditions on the road and a tough repair job for workers.
An eight inch main broke around 5:30am Wednesday at Lindbergh and Queen Ann. Water was everywhere and with the cold temperatures it froze, creating a serious ice problem on the roadway. Lanes were shut down.
In fact, Hazelwood police say all lanes on Lindbergh were completely closed for about half an hour while MoDOT salted the area.
Ann Dettmer with Missouri American Water says the freezing temperatures led to the break and adds the cold weather has been causing about 20 breaks a day since Christmas.
“When the water in the river gets cold, it goes through our water treatment plant and gets treated but it does not get heated up. So when it hits these aging pipes we’re going to see an uptick in water main breaks as a result of that,” said Dettmer.
Dettmer says the drought is making matters worse because of soil conditions. She tells us overall water main breaks are up 20% to 30% this year versus last year, “The soil is dry. That soil normally serves as support for water mains, but as it dries out, it contracts, pulls away from the water main and the mains aren’t as well supported during drought conditions.”
Dettmer expects the water main breaks to be common as long as the cold weather continues, “The best we can do is get crews on them quickly and work them as fast as we can so we can get customers back into water.”
Dettmer says several businesses had their water impacted from Wednesday morning’s break.
Missouri American Water says the break has been fixed and traffic is moving again.