NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the third day in a row, a busy stretch of Nashville is dealing with a water main break, forcing another downtown office building to close.
News 2 went to Metro Water Services (MWS) to ask for the cause.
Tennessee is known for its beautiful creeks and streams, but certainly not water flowing down Capitol hill. A broken pipe, an eight-inch one to be exact, was the culprit. Crews spent Thursday making fixes, but MWS’ strategic communications manager, Sonia Allman, said the Cordell Hull building was forced to close.
“We pride ourselves in being one of the utilities that very rarely do have outages. So that is our first priority to get water back on,” said Allman.
The string of breaks started Tuesday on James Robertson Parkway, forcing the courthouse to close. Then, on Wednesday, a 12-inch main broke on North 1st Street. Metro Water said that the three breaks this week in busy areas can be caused by a number of factors — from older cast-iron pipes that are brittle in extreme cold to construction work in the area.
“There’s been digging, which is a lot of vibration in the ground. We’ve also had these cold temperatures. So, all of that together could have contributed. Pipes over time become weaker and weaker, until at some point they just break,” said Allman.
According to MWS, in 2021 Nashville had 498 water main breaks; 2022 was a little higher at 524; and so far this year, there have been 95 breaks, which the utility said is within the normal range.
“We are on track to be about where we have been the past few years,” Allman said.
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Allman said that with 3,000 miles of pipe, breaks will happen, but crews are working to replace 30 miles of water main every year.
“When you are looking at budgets and replacement, you have to look at A: What needs to be done, B: What you can afford to do, and what you have the resources to do,” said Allman.