TRAFFIC – Otto Street Water Main Break – January 21, 2020

Water Main Break on Otto Street - January 21 2020 - Photo NetNewsLedger Newshawk
Water Main Break on Otto Street - January 21 2020 - Photo NetNewsLedger Newshawk

THUNDER BAY – A water main break on Otto Street will impact drivers and residents in the area today.

The COTB is still dealing with the water main break on Edward Street from Monday, January 20, 2020.

Water Main Break on Otto Street - January 21 2020 - Photo NetNewsLedger Newshawk
Water Main Break on Otto Street – January 21 2020 – Photo NetNewsLedger Newshawk
Ground temperature and water temperature are major factors with water main breaks. The sudden and severe temperature changes can cause water main breaks as the ground contracts and expand and put pressure on the water pipes. Prolonged periods of below zero temperatures can cause the soil to freeze quite deeply into the ground. During winter, frost depths can reach up to 3 meters or 10 feet deep. This freezing can cause expansion and contraction that creates a force on the water main.

Change in pressure can cause water main breaks. This usually occurs at weak points in the water pipe. Demand on the whole system can also cause changes in pressure, such as high water usage, which can contribute to a break.

Aging Infrastructure?

As water pipes reach the end of their life cycle, and with the natural wear and tear, the likelihood of a break or leak increases.

The material that water pipes are made of can corrode or crumble the outside of the pipe in certain soil conditions. Soil conditions can vary within a stretch of water pipe, creating leaks or breaks at any point.