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Thu August 4, 2011
Heat causing needed repairs, workers cautioned
By Scott Harvey
– The severe drought and extreme heat are not only affecting the local landscape, but what's underneath. Local municipalities typically repair more water main breaks during the summer, especially in triple digit heat.
"Normally we might see ten, 15, maybe 20 breaks in a month," says Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell. "But we just concluded July and had 60 breaks and I expect that to increase again this month."
During the summer, water main breaks are in most cases caused by shifting soil due to dry ground conditions.
Those types of issues are causing more work for city crews, which can pose a health risk if they're out during the heat of the day. Maxwell says within the last ten days, five workers have been sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion. As a result, their hours have changed.
"Our Capital Construction Crew, for instance, is starting at 4 a.m. as opposed to 7 a.m. and our Parks and Recreation Crew is starting at 6 a.m. as opposed to 8 a.m."
Residents needing to perform outdoor activities like mowing or indoor chores that require using large appliances are also encouraged to do them earlier or later in the day, rather than during the hottest hours.