BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Department of Public Works (DPW) says it has seen an increase in water main breaks in Baltimore City and county, in large part to winter weather.

Baltimore DPW Acting Director Matthew Garbark said the City and county have seen nearly three dozen main breaks occurring over the last few days.

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“One of the serious issues for the area is the freeze-thaw weather cycle, where we often have extremely cold temperatures followed by much warmer conditions. This puts a strain on the water pipes,” Garbark said. “This temperature fluctuation can cause old pipes to break and rupture eventually leading to water main breaks. Sometimes, it is only when the temperatures rise that a main break is recognized as the water melts and starts flowing again.”

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DPW said crews stand ready to repair mains and restore water service and ask for the public’s patience. Crews have received notice and are on standby, and contractors are on-call to assist with repairs.

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“It is important to note that water main breaks are often resolved quickly and can often be repaired without incurring any service outages, but the degree and severity of the breaks are not always known until we arrive onsite, turn off the water, and begin an inspection of the main,” Garbark said.

CBS Baltimore Staff