Change in weather could bring surge in water main breaks

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Ivan Echevarria held the end of a coiled hose and showed the few drops of water that fell.

"You can't even clean the rims off with this."

The water supply to his detailing shop at Armenia and Columbus turned off shortly after the water main down the street burst Friday.

His car wash is one of 12 customers, mostly businesses, to be without water.

"It's Friday night. This place would have been banging," he said. "If you go down to the other car washes on Howard, or the others, they are all packed right now."

The water main break may cost him $600 in lost business, just for Friday night.

The city says the main will likely be fixed by morning, but the road could be closed until Tuesday, making it tougher for traffic to get to him. 

Rideshare drivers are worried, too.

"If you have to go that way, I have to go around, it's more time consuming, it's more distance," said Lyft driver Irwin Rivero. "Time is money. If I don't do it fast, then I lose money."

This is at least the third water main break in the last two days. 

Memorial Hwy. near Independence Pkwy. was closed overnight while Clearwater worked on its own break near Lakeview Rd. and Norwood Ave.

The cold isn't directly blamed, but the City of Tampa says the quick change to warmer weather could indeed cause more breakages to the aging system. 

With South Armenia closed between Columbus and St. John, Echevarria is worried about this weekend.

"I don't know if I should even open the doors tomorrow, I don't even know if it is going to be worth it. I have people who work."