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      Ottumwa sees rise in water main breaks

      Even without frequent rain storms, some Ottumwa streets have still had running water. There have been 12 water main breaks in the past five days, compared to the average 15 breaks per month. Ottumwa Water and Hydro General Manager Mike Heffernan says the increase in pipe bursts are caused mostly by maintenance to the plant and a new water tank. He says he expects the number of water main breaks to slow down in the next few weeks, but that there probably will be more.

      The pipes take about 3 to 6 hours for crews to fix. Those crews have put 120 hours of overtime in this past week working to get water running where it should be.

      ââ?Å?We appreciate their patience and hopefully they're understanding as we repair those because sometimes they do loose water if they're in the area of the break and they have to go without water for a period of time. It's inconvenient for them and we try to get the water restored as quickly as possible,ââ? said Heffernan.

      Heffernan says they rely on calls from the public to notify them of any breaks. An indicator of a broken water main break is water on streets in places where one wouldnââ?â?¢t expect it to be. To notify the city of a potential burst, call Ottumwa Water and Hydro at 641-684-4606.