Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- Five water main breaks scattered throughout Duluth today are a grim reminder of the hundreds of miles of pipe underneath our city in need of repair.
City officials say 50 percent of the water mains are older than 80 years.
In the middle of a warm March night, pipes burst in Lakeside and in Lincoln park, just off of 25th Ave.
Five in total that had some residents out of luck.
"Last night about midnight my wife got up and said I have to wash my hair and the she came running into the bedroom and said theres no water"
"Well no water to make coffee, no water to shower, no water in the toilet so you can't flush that"
But it's not just the inconvenience of missing that morning cup of coffee that these water main breaks cause because every time these crews get sent to fix this problem, it's a reminder of a much larger problem that is affecting the whole city of Duluth.
We are averaging around 140 breaks a year now, and Duluth City Engineers say the number will be 300 in ten years.
'As the number of breaks continue to go up, the amount of the water rates will go up as we spend more and more overtime as we constantly fix them"
A complicated problem that requires prioritizing repairs.
"we need to concentrate of the worst ones so we cut down on the number of leaks as fast as possible"
The worst ones being in the Riverside Neighborhood, where every main will be replaced this summer.
City Officials say that the total annual cost of water main repair is just over three point five million dollars a year.