(KMOV) – The number of water main breaks in St. Charles County seems out of control especially when a number of them have broke within the last seven days.
Each of the water main breaks have been in a different areas of the county happening under various circumstances and the timing of the breaks is just a matter of coincidence.
The first water main broke on Friday afternoon, prompting a weekend-long boil order for thousands and intensive, costly repairs.
"The evidence has pretty much been washed away so all we know is it was a cracked piece of pipe,” said Bill Malach, Utilities Director for the City of St. Peters.
Mild temperatures and a relatively young pipeline rule out the usual causes of those types of breaks.
Malach said, “Anytime the ground gets severely dry with the clay content we do have around here it dries up and starts to shrink so the ground starts to move a little bit."
No word yet on whether ground conditions contributed to the water main break in O’Fallon which created a mess and a traffic back up.
A third break in St. Charles sent water shooting into the sky, shutting down New Town Boulevard for much of Tuesday afternoon.
News 4 asked how much these breaks cost the city. Malach said "It’ll be costly. Those parts and stuff are not cheap."
He said for last Friday’s break, the money will come from a joint fund that each city pays into each year to account for situations like these.
When asked about potential flaws in the infrastructure here, Malach said most of these pipelines are relatively new, so age should not be a factor.