Tennessee American Water reports 196 water main breaks so far this year
Tennessee American Water tells Channel 3 they have had 196 water main breaks since the beginning of the year.
Early Tuesday morning there was another water main break for Tennessee American Water customers. This time right out front of the Westin Hotel.
Less than a month ago, the utility company had a main break, leaving more than 35,000 people without water across Chattanooga.
Two weeks ago there was another Tennessee American water main break on Lanoir Street, leaving some in the neighborhood unable to leave their homes.
The latest issue for the company is a water main break in front of the Westin Hotel. It happened early Tuesday morning.
Tennessee American Water spokesperson, Daphne Kirksey, released a statement reading: "Water has been restored. We worked safely to complete the job and as quickly as possible. Minimal customers impacted but any customer customers impacted can run cold tap water if they experience air in their lines and will clear up within a few minutes."
Channel 3 wanted to know what exactly is causing so many water breaks and the process behind them. Jeff Elrod with Hixson Utilities gives us his outside perspective.
"It's not the temperature that is doing it, it's the ground moving," said Elrod.
Elrod says with the record breaking temperatures Chattanooga experienced, it's caused the ground to shift, ultimately damaging the pipes.
"The soil actually changes, it does move underneath the pipe," Elrod told Channel 3.
He also says after three or four weeks of really dry weather, the first cool spell that brings rain can also cause a water main break.
"That can actually change the dynamics around that water pipe too," said Elrod.
Elrod says Hixson Utilities now uses ductile iron pipes which are less prone to damage.
He says many of the water main breaks are from pipes made out of cast iron that have been in place for decades.
Management with the Westin hotel says this did not effect their guests.