News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Lehmans


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


More water-main breaks are likely on their way
Modern engineering can only do so much with hundreds of miles of 100-year-old pipe
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Water main breaks are a common sight when temperatures plummet as they will this week and have over much of January.
Courtesy of flickr
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

With temperatures plunging again this week, water main breaks are expected to follow. And with hundreds of miles of pipelines as old as 100 years or more, there’s not a lot that can be done short-term to head that off.  WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

LISTEN: Water main breaks and the limits of modern engineering

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:08)


Northeast Ohio temperatures plummeted well below zero two weeks ago, breaking 130-year-old records. And – a few days later – breaking dozens of water mains.

Most of the pipes, installed well before 1980, are made of iron with no cement lining. That causes two big problems: Cracks as changing temperatures make it expand and contract, and corrosion from the inside.

The University of Akron has mapped out a specialty in corrosion engineering. Chief scientist Joe Payer says there have been advancements in spotting trouble – but a simple solution to the aging infrastructure is not in the works.

“I don’t anticipate there’s any magic wand. We tend to make progress in these areas in more evolutionary – learning how to do it better, keeping better track of conditions, trying to replace things before they get to the point of failure. But the fact is, we have … miles and miles of pipelines and things like very harsh, cold weather just give them an extra strain, extra stress.”

The breaks are often not discovered until sinkholes open up  in streets or sidewalks. The annual cost of repairing water main breaks in North America  is estimated at more than $3 billion.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University