Main breaks increase, water use soars in extreme heat
Published on July 18, 2022
The extreme heat and lack of rain are causing the ground to shift, resulting in an unusually high number of water main breaks in Fort Worth this summer.
Through 8 a.m. Monday, Fort Worth Water had 476 main breaks in 2022, with 221 of those in the past 90 days. The telling number is the 182 in the last 30 days – over 38% of the yearly total.
The increase in main breaks, coupled with labor shortages and employees out because of COVID-19, is creating a growing backlog of leaks and paving repairs. The city is bringing in outside contractors on an emergency basis to assist in these backlogs.
Though the numbers are higher than normal, they still do not rival the number of break breaks during the February 2021 winter storm – 720 in 17 days.
The extreme heat and lack of rain dries out the ground to the point it shifts, causing main breaks.
Main breaks have a higher priority than leaks because customers can be without water, and the water loss is greater.
Water use skyrockets
At the same time, water use in Fort Worth is up considerably.
On Wednesday, July 13, the utility came very close to breaking the daily water use record set during the February 2021 winter storm. The record is 379.84 million gallons on Feb. 17, 2021. Wednesday’s systemwide use was at 378. 10.
Fort Worth reminds its customers that time of day and day of week watering restrictions are in place year round as a conservation measure. View watering schedule details. In addition, residential customers can use the MyH2O portal to view their water use by the hour, day and month.
Water supply lakes are at 85.6% of capacity. Stage 1 is triggered when the level is 75%. Tarrant Regional Water District estimates lake levels may be at the Stage 1 trigger level by early October.
Photo: In the last month, 182 water main breaks have been reported in Fort Worth.
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