Weather changes cause water main woes for city

- A weekend warm-up might be good news for those ready to get outdoors, but it's bad news for water mains.

Over the past few weeks, Tampa city officials say dozens of water main breaks have been reported and there is an ongoing effort to get them all fixed.

Tony Goyette lives in Seminole Heights and says his neighbor reported a leak near his home about two weeks ago but claims little has been done to stop the overflow.

“I guess they're waiting for me to call them and say we have no water at all,” said Goyette. “A crew came out dug right over next to the tree and replaced a piece of pipe underground that wasn't leaking.”

Now, because of the continuous leak, portions of his street are constantly filled with puddles and he says his neighbor can't even pull into his own driveway.

“He's been parking across the street in mud over there for the last two weeks,” he said.

Also, simple things like taking a shower are harder now, because he says the water pressure in his house is so low.

“Every time you call they give you the same story. 'We know about it. We'll get to it,'” said Goyette.

City of Tampa Water Department Director Chuck Weber says Goyette is definitely not alone in his water woes. He explains crews have been treating upwards of 60 breaks over the past few weeks, and they've had to prioritize them for repair, hitting major leaks and ones in high traffic areas first.

“We do the best we can we throw as many resources as we can at it,” said Weber. “You could have a not so bad one sitting in front of your house for a while if we have a lot of bad leaks coming in over that period.”

Even as dozens of crews handle the current breaks, more problem pipes could be on the horizon as we get set for another weekend weather change.

“Here over the weekend as things warm up we could see a little blip and we could see a few more main breaks,” said Weber.

Weber explains the city has contracted two companies to help them get the water main issues fixed. He expects things to be back to normal by the middle of next week.

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