Battle Creek official says heat, high water usage may cause water mains to break

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Wednesday morning the City of Battle Creek issued a water main break advisory for North 21st Street between Goguac Street West and Highland Boulevard West. Almost 15 minutes later, another advisory was released. This time it was for South Moorland Drive.

“It’s not unusual when you have a hot spell like this to have frequent water main breaks like this,” said Perry Hart, utility administrator with the public works office.

Water mains tend to break when the weather changes, he said. In the winter, when the ground is cold it shifts, which can cause a main to break. In the warmer months, it can break due in part to the hot temperatures.

“Memorial Day weekend, real hot, people are doing their yards up, getting things going, firing up the irrigation system, throwing lawn sprinkles on even,” he said during an interview in his office. “They don’t have to be an irrigation system necessarily, just using a lot more water, getting their yards up and green.”

Hart said increased water activity puts pressure on the water mains. Typically during this time of year their water pumping station is pumping out 12-14 million gallons of water. On Monday, they reached 18.4 million gallons.

“A lot of it is commercial and residential irrigation,” Hart said. “Filling pools takes a certain amount of water. We have contractors come to town and utilize water meters off our fire hydrants to trek water to pools even outside of our service area.”

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