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Temperature swings contributing to increase in Baltimore-area water main breaks

BALTIMORE, MD—Officials with Baltimore’s Department of Public Works say they are experiencing an increase in water main breaks and water-related service requests due, in part, to freezing temperatures over the weekend and this week’s warmer weather.

DPW is working expeditiously to make water main repairs and to respond to water-related service requests.

Cold weather can harm water infrastructure, especially during long periods of cold and repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Water mains break due to a variety of factors, especially freezing and thawing conditions that can cause the ground to shift and put stress on the pipes.

In addition, water service lines and water meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time.

DPW maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. Officials say water lines running from the meter to the house, and internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner.

Responding to Water Main Breaks

When a water main breaks, DPW’s key priority is to restore water service to the homes and businesses experiencing water outages. However, most water mains can be repaired without residents losing water service.

DPW officials say they stand ready to repair mains and restore water service and are asking for the public’s patience. Crews have received notice and are on standby, and contractors are on-call to assist with repairs.

To report water main breaks and other water emergencies in Baltimore City, dial 3-1-1, or call 410-396-5352 in Baltimore County.

Pictured: A water main break on Silverwood Court (21236) in March 2021

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