Cold causes water main breaks, boil advisories in Kzoo

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — With bitterly cold temperatures leading to water main breaks and therefore boil water advisories in Kalamazoo, city officials are asking people to run water in their homes nonstop to prevent freezing.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, Kalamazoo Public Services Director James Baker said there were six main breaks or water infrastructure-related issues over the weekend, all due to cold weather. He blamed increasing frost depths that caused cast iron water mains to shift.

Two of the breaks prompted precautionary boil water advisories. The first, issued Sunday, was for a stretch of S. Burdick Street near Stockbridge Avenue and some surrounding streets. The second was for part of West Main Street near Drake Avenue.

Water main breaks cause a drop in pressure, which can allow bacteria to enter the system. On Wednesday, testing confirmed the water was safe and the advisories were lifted.

With frost depths expected surpass hit 3 feet by mid- or late February, officials are worried about freezing pipes. To keep the water flowing and help prevent damage, Baker asked residents to continuously run water in their homes at a pencil-sized stream, probably until April 1. He suggested using the fixture that’s farthest away from where the water enters your home, or fixtures near pipes that have a history of freezing.

If you start to see your water pressure dropping or hear hissing in the pipes, open all the water fixtures in your home and call the city at 269.337.8148 so crews can figure out where the freeze is.

Baker said it would take at least a week to fix all the water system breaks that happened over the weekend, and some of the projects may affect traffic.

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