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MWU: Cold, lack of snow could increase water main breaks

Crews have responded to a dozen breaks since temps dropped last week

MADISON, Wis. - Madison Water Utility officials said crews are bracing for what could turn out to be a busier than usual season for water main breaks.

Since temperatures dropped late last week MWU crews have responded to a dozen water main breaks across the city, according to a release.

The sudden, extreme cold paired with a lack of deep snow to insulate makes water pipes below ground more vulnerable as the level that frost hits below the ground deepens, officials said.

Officials are asking residents to be patient, conditions are tough and crews are doing everything they can.

"You know if you get a notice on y our door that says, 'Hey, there's a main break in your area. We're working on it,'" Amy Barrilleaux, with Madison Utilities, said. "Know that we really are working on it. We've been working back-to-back 24-hours a day, and it should really only take a few hours for that to get repaired."

Officials ask anyone who notices water bubbling up through a crack in the street or a large standing puddle of water that would normally be frozen considering the temperature should contact the Main Break Hotline at 608-266-4661 as it could be a main break.

MWU crews respond to more than 200 water main breaks every year, according to the release. MWU is working on replacing nearly half of the city's water mains to help remedy the problem.

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