Below freezing temperatures expected to cause more watermain bre - KMOV.com

Below freezing temperatures expected to cause more watermain breaks than usual

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A watermain break on State Street on December 27 (Credit: KMOV) A watermain break on State Street on December 27 (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO -

As temperatures are dropping below freezing, you may be seeing more water main breaks throughout the city and possibly pipes in your home. As water freezes inside pipes, it expands so much which may cause the pipes to bust.

On Wednesday morning, there were two breaks just miles from each other in Alton. A 3-story geyser of water busted out of a pipe under State St. and more water gushed out of a pipe on Washington Ave. 

Missouri American Water (MAW) says this is just the beginning of many more breaks to come because their water is still warmer than the air. "The water temperature cools down slower than the air temperature," said Brian Russell, with MAW, "Right now our water temperature is 42 degrees, probably this time next week it'll be 34 degrees. That's just a fraction above freezing and that's when we'll see more mains pop around the city."

On an average daily Missouri Water responds to 6-8 main breaks. They expect those to increase to 15-20 a day by next week.

This can happen to pipes in homes just like the ones underground. MAW has tips to keep your own pipes from breaking. "Leave a little trickle of water running through, just a little drop, because moving water won't freeze as fast as stagnant water," said Russell, "Then if you can open your cabinetry and let that warm air from your house get under those pipes."

MAW recommends doing that drop from your faucet during the overnight hours or if you are out of town. They say keep that routine going until at least February. 

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