Why the water main breaks?

Why the water main breaks?
Water main repair work in Iowa (Source: Town of Iowa)

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - There have been several water main breaks in Southwest Louisiana within the last few weeks, leaving many wondering why.

Michael Daigle, Public Works Director for the city of Sulphur, said a combination of factors over time can lead to a water main break.

"Natural causes, emergency interruptions taking place when contractors are digging," Daigle said. "Installation issues, manufacture defects in piping can cause it to fail in a long-term fashion."

Daigle said the type of pipe that's used and stress it's under are also factors.

"Pipes can corrode and fail," Daigle said. "Water systems have cast iron lines or other types of water lines that are susceptible to corrosion."

Daigle also emphasized that vibrations from vehicles above ground can add extra pressure to the pipes that are already buried underground.

"Realize we bury these pipes with rocks, dirt and sand." Daigle said. "Rocks are abrasive and they can cause pressure especially when compounded by thousands of pounds of earth."

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