Cresco crews brave sub-zero temperatures to fix broken water main

Ground movement likely the cause

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 10:22 PM

CRESCO, Iowa - Crews with the City of Cresco had a chilly task ahead of them on Friday, as a water main needed to be repaired.

A call came in to Public Works Director Rod Freidhof's office from a resident saying that there was water in their yard in the 700 block of North Elm Street, which lead to water being shut off for nearby residents, and part of the street being excavated and closed to traffic in order to tackle the problem. Several dump truck loads of dirt were hauled away in the process. The work was completed around 3 p.m.

Cindy Yslas lives on the affected block, in a house just over 120 years old.

"In fact, we've always been worried about this old house and its pipes and how long it was going to hold on before they gave out. Now, it's the water on the street that's been giving us problems."

This is her first time being affected by a main break.

"That's the biggest fear when we get to these sub zero temperatures is that the ground doesn't play well. And it wreaks havoc on a lot of the old houses, the old plumbing, the old fixtures in this town."

Freidhof says that since around October, they've had to fix five mains in town, and more could be on the way depending on the weather.

"If we get an extended cold snap that lasts a couple 2-3 weeks, then we're going to start having concerns about more main breaks."

Freidhof says ground movement likely caused by a combination of moisture and a deepening frost may have played a role in the break.

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