The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


January 15, 2014

Deep freeze causes city water woes

CLINTON — An unforgiving winter has caused issues for many local residents and business, and sometimes made the luxury of flowing water a hard commodity to come by.

Since the beginning of the year, six water main breaks have been reported by the Iowa American Water Co., including the suspected main break at Lafayette Apartments on Friday.

However, according to Iowa-American Water Company External Affairs Manager Lisa Reisen, early reports of a water main break that led to the discovery of a natural gas leak in the complex were debunked, and interior pipe bursts were found to be the cause of the flooding.

"Apparently it was not a water main break, but rather frozen pipes inside the building," Reisen said. "The internal pipes broke because there was no heat in the building, and as the fire department responded, they smelled gas and called in Alliant Energy."

In addition to the six water main breaks reported in Clinton, more than 300 pipe bursts, eight to 15 within a single household, have been repaired in the last two weeks by one local plumbing company.

"Usually this time of year I have a few guys who are collecting unemployment because there is no work until it picks up again," Dependable Drain owner Jeff Crigger said. "That hasn't been the case this year. We've been going full boar."

Some of the repairs that company has dealt with so far this year include minor, one-hour thawing of frozen pipes to six-day projects like the one it currently is working on at Miller Ridge Apartments.

A water main break last week at the apartment complex has generated a steady amount of business for the local plumbing company. The complex currently has cold water running but now plumbers are working on getting the hot water back on.

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