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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Several water mains break over weekend

  • Leavenworth Water Department employees responded to several water main breaks over the holiday weekend including one on Christmas morning. But a department official said this number of breaks isn't necessarily unusual for this time of the year.
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  • Leavenworth Water Department employees responded to several water main breaks over the holiday weekend including one on Christmas morning. But a department official said this number of breaks isn't necessarily unusual for this time of the year.
    "So we just have to deal with it," said John Kaufman, general manager of the department.
    And Water Department employees were working Wednesday morning to repair another break in front of the post office in downtown Leavenworth.
    "I'm just glad it didn't happen before Christmas," Kaufman said, because it may have disrupted people mailing holiday packages.
    He said Wednesday's fracture at Fourth and Shawnee streets was in an old water line that's connected to a replacement pipe that recently was installed at that location.
    Kaufman said Water Department officials plan to replace more of the water main that runs under Shawnee Street. But the work has been halted because of winter weather.
    He said the break on Christmas morning occurred in the 1800 block of South Fourth in front of Tire Town.
    Other breaks that occurred over the Christmas weekend were at 13th and Cherokee streets, in the 1700 block of Michael Street and in the 200 block of Sheldon Street.
    Today when the Water Department puts in new pipes, they're buried in sand which Kaufman said can help alleviate problems that lead to breaks. But 100 years ago, people thought cast iron water lines would never break or corrode.
    Kaufman said the Missouri River level is coming back up after it had dropped considerably. He said the Army Corps of Engineers has released more water into the river through a reservoir system. While a drop in the river could have turned into an issue for one of the department's plants, the department could have continued to operate with its other plant.

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