Morgan Park and surrounding areas have water again

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Roads and weather conditions and damages to nearby businesses and homes are all factors to consider when a water main breaks. One major factor is the potential for other water main breaks to occur nearby.

There have been several water main breaks in the Morgan Park neighborhood over the past two weeks. Service has been restored to most of the areas. Some of these areas are currently without water.

Water main breaks can cause damage to the surrounding infrastructure depending on the pressure level and fluctuation in the ground.

“The pressure changes and shifts as we shut down the main, make the repair, re-pressurize, and bring it back into service, says Kleist. That pressure fluctuation causes additional water main breaks, which is the case today."

Chris Kleist is the Provisional Operations manager with the City of Duluth Public Works.

In Duluth, typical there are over 100 water main breaks per year. There are many reasons water main pipes can break beside the change in weather. These water main breaks can be repaired in about an hour or two. Digging pipes in the winter months can cause the repair job to last 6 hours or longer.

"Our infrastructure is very old! Most of our pipes are at least 70 years old, so there at or near their life expectancy. And in the winter, when we get those swings from cold to warm or warm to cold. It will cause the ground to fluctuate, and any little bit of movement can cause it to break."

When water main pipes break, the city takes the time to inspect and fix those deteriorating pipelines.

"Every year, we look at the section of pipe that has the most water main breaks and replace those. We fix all those major issues, replace the entire section of lines, and that is an ongoing process."

Areas near Falcon Street and 91st Avenue are still without water, and it is unclear how long repairs will take. To see current utility outages, please view the Outage Map.