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Cold Weather Stresses District Water Mains

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The early cold snap has led to several water main breaks in the District. The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority says they're currenlty tackling six breaks across the city.

The breaks are all over the city affecting some 55 homes, one recreation center, two apartment buildings and three businesses.

"The water in the pipes is changing temperature very fast, the water around the pipes hasn't changed as fast. It's the contrast in the temperatures -- various changes that causes, particularly older pipes to crack," says the department's general manager, George Hawkins.

Hawkins says the District averages about 400 water main breaks a year. He also says the median age of the city's water main is 75 years and some pipes date back to the Civil War era.

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