Cleveland Water crews continue to work around-the-clock to fix leaks in the distribution system which began with the onset of below-average temperatures earlier this winter. Since January 1st, an average of 20 new main breaks per day have occurred and the emergency call center has received an average of 530 calls per day. During winter months, Cleveland Water averages 6 breaks per day on the 5,300 miles of mains in our 640-square-mile service area. The colder than normal winter is impacting other public water systems across the region in a similar fashion.
Cleveland Water crews are currently working to shut off a 12” water main break near the Lorain Carnegie Bridge. At this time, there is no impact to traffic on the bridge.
Water from the break is currently impacting Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority transit lines below the bridge Cleveland Water officials are working with RTA field crews to clear water from the tracks and restore transit services as quickly as possible. RTA is operating buses to replace Blue, Green, and Red line trains between Tower City and E. 55th and Red line trains.
We constantly monitor the temperature of the 250 million gallons of raw water we draw from Lake Erie into our treatment plants. In fact, Cleveland’s official water temperature, the one meteorologists report on the news, comes from the gauges inside the intake at Cleveland Water’s Garrett A. Morgan Treatment Plant near Whiskey Island.
Have you ever tried to dig a hole in the middle of winter only to find that the ground was frozen? When air temperatures drop below 32°F, the water in soil starts to freeze. The depth to which the ground freezes is called the frost line. The colder the winter and the longer the cold, the deeper the frost line will go causing more breaks and leaks on underground water infrastructure.
Did you know that Cleveland Water wasn’t the first water delivery system in Cleveland? That distinction belongs to Benhu Johnson, a veteran, who, in 1814, would deliver two gallons of untreated Lake Erie water to your home for one penny. Today, Cleveland Water delivers a reliable supply of safe, treated drinking water for about the same price – two gallons for a penny.