Missouri American Water facing more than 1,000 water main breaks in a month

Missouri American Water is facing a historic amount of water man breaks. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Missouri American Water is on pace to set a record for most water main breaks in a month.

While pace of breaks is slowing in recent days, the agency is still likely to top 1,000.

Outside the Greenway Chase Apartments, a water main break shot water out all night, burying three cars. Two have been dug out, and they are trying to recover a third.

It left apartment residents without water for the day.

"Well my mom, when I was getting ready for school she told me I couldn’t go because we were out of water," said high school senior Kia Pickens.

Some residents were lucky enough to have relatives living nearby and were able to shower and cook elsewhere.

The Florissant break is one of the many that's left workers pulling 12-hour shifts, and Missouri American Water scrambling to handle flood of calls. The company admits call centers were overwhelmed and needed improvements are being made.

"We're working through some technology upgrades and we're hiring increased staff,” said Brian Russell with MAW. “We're offering unlimited overtime to the people who are working so we can handle calls that come in more quickly."

Some technological changes include tweaking software on their new automated answering system at their call centers to handle a larger volume of calls. The also hope to develop an app so customers can not only view their bills, but locate main breaks.

In the meantime, the excavated cars are not drivable as they had several inches of water in them.

The drivers can call Missouri American Water to report the damage and file an insurance claim to be reimbursed for repairs.