• Cold temperatures cause water main breaks across city


    PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is tackling at least six water main breaks across the city on Tuesday as continuing frigid temperatures rupture pipes all over.

    One crew began working on a break on Evergreen Road in Summer Hill early Tuesday morning and is expected to continue until 8 p.m.

    It's the reality for PWSA crews this time of year, with plunging temperatures making it all the more difficult.


    “It's just too cold to do anything!" said PWSA foreman John Leckie.

    Nearly every hour came a new challenge.

    It started with the 16-inch water main break on Evergreen. A couple of hours later, Channel 11 met Leckie and his crew working on Smallman Street in the Strip District.

    Water was shooting out of the pavement at one point, but the crew must carefully dig around gas and electric lines to find exactly where the leak came from.

    "With this cold spell we've had, it's really taking a toll on our water mains,” Leckie said. “We've had a lot of leaks lately."

    With the city's aging infrastructure, these leaks will continue –  and they don't discriminate.

    On Thursday alone, the Strip, Central Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Squirrel Hill, Glen Hazel, Woods Run and Summer Hill all dealt with water line breaks.

    As PWSA crews jump from emergency to emergency for the foreseeable future, little more than warm thoughts will be providing much relief.

    "We'll take 30 degrees,” Leckie said. “Thirty degrees is going to be like 70 for us. We'll take anything, anything above the teens."


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