Preventing Disaster: Columbus Utility Crews Work To Prevent Water Main Breaks

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UPDATED: Wednesday July 30, 2014 5:56 PM

Utility crews are spreading out across Columbus in an effort to stay a step ahead of the threat of a major break.

Earlier this year in January, temperatures hit nearly 30-degrees below zero and 10TV reported on a major water main break near Gay Street and 4th Avenue that turned the area into a raging river.

In the Sexton Drive area in west Columbus, public utility crews are digging deep to trade out a two inch water pipe with a six inch replacement. 

Just a few doors down, Melvina Logsdon is keeping her grandchildren busy with a water project of their own by hydrating her plants in the summer sun. 

She says she's thrilled to see progress in the neighborhood.  "We heard that they were going to be doing some improvements and improvements are always good and when you see your tax dollars at work, that's a good thing, too,” Logsdon says.

Crews are working to knock out a list of the city's top ten priority projects.  The Department of Public Utilities says in part, it considers the age and size of water pipes and prior breaks when deciding where to invest capital improvement dollars.  They formulate a list of lines that are most likely to break in the foreseeable future.

But the city says there were no warning signs when a major water main pipe sent thousands of gallons of water spewing onto 4th Avenue back in January.  The pipe dated back to the 1920's, but had never sprang a leak before.

Columbus is now devoting more dollars to replacing water lines.  The budget has spiked from $5 million in 2010 to a projected $30 million in 2017.

Logsdon says she's lived in her neighborhood for 17 years and is happy to look across her yard and see her hard earned tax dollars hard at work.  

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