Public utilities departments prepare for possibility of water main breaks

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by Brian Farrell, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 1:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 1:21 AM

NORFOLK -- Water mains throughout Hampton Roads face heavy-duty stress tests this week. Drastic temperature drops could lead to breaks, especially in older lines. Public utilities departments are ready to respond.

"Our crews will be out looking for any potential leaks," explained Harry Kenyon, Management Services Administrator with the Department of Utilities for the City of Norfolk.

Kenyon encouraged people who notice leaks to contact his department at 757-823-1000.

"Where you see the water may not be exactly where the break is at. We have a leak detection crew that goes out and they use microphones to actually listen to the water, where it's coming from, and that tells the crew where they need to dig up and excavate the main," said Kenyon.

He added Norfolk's water system fared well in the past year, in part, to an aggressive campaign to update the city's infrastructure.

"They replaced some of the pipes. They've actually made good progress," Sheena Inge told 13News Now.

Inge and her family live in Park Place where one of many replacement projects is taking place.

Kenyon said in addition to reporting any problems with city lines, people should be sure to protect their own. That includes wrapping exposed pipes, allowing spigots or shower heads to drip, if need be, to keep lines from freezing up. He also encourage people to know where cut-off valves are should there be a rupture.

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