Bursting pipes still an issue for many during frigid temperatures

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On Third Street between Race and Vine in downtown Cincinnati, icicles are falling from the second floor onto the sidewalk. Employees in the building say it's due to pipes bursting. They've even had to close the sidewalk to keep people safe.

It's an issue the Greater Cincinnati Water Works is dealing with as well. On Tuesday, they had 62 leaks and five water main breaks. It is a problem that isn't going away any time soon.

Jeff Pieper with Greater Cincinnati Water Works says the city hasn't seen this many water main issues due to weather conditions since 2007.

"We've seen a definite uptick in the number of breaks we've experienced in our system over the last week or so. This second cold wave seems to have made a little bit of a difference and we are getting busy," says Pieper.

Pieper says due to freezing temperatures for longer periods of time, the city's infrastructure buried more than three feet underground is being affected.

"As the water temperature drops, it causes the temperature of the pipe that is holding the water to change. As the temperature changes, the pipes expand and contract and they can break. It just slows things down a little bit. Generally, we can get done in 6-8 hours. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer this time of year between the ice and just the fact that the employees have to be out in the freezing weather," says Pieper.

It is a problem that may not be solved until warmer weather arrives. While the city continues to fight the freeze, homeowners can also do their part to help.

"What they can do though is keep their pipes in their homes from freezing and that will help us because we won't get calls to help citizens with individual burst pipes in their home. We can concentrate more on our underground infrastructure," says Pieper.

For tips on keeping your pipes from freezing click here: http://www.fox19.com/story/24559647/tips-protect-your-water-pipes-from-extreme-cold

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