Shreveport water main breaks cause problems for residents

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –Water main breaks have caused problems all over Shreveport. The city's water department says the heat is causing the breaks, and with extreme temperatures coming early this year the city finds themselves fixing more than usual because about 20 breaks a day are reported.

One break has flooded a yard on Fairway Drive for about 2 weeks, and neighbors say they've had problems with water pressure and water quality.

"The hot water was down to pencil size. No pressure. I was afraid it was going to burn up my dishwater," said Murwyn Stover.

Stover says they've had problems with water main breaks on Fairway Drive for years, and it usually takes a few weeks to fix them. The city says it has taken so long because with so many breaks reporter smaller ones get pushed back.

"We have to prioritize them. Certain areas of town or the size of the main have a lot to do with that," said Superintendent of Water Purification, Darin Fortenberry.

"They tell me the pipes need replacing, but they didn't have the funds for it," said Stover.

The City of Shreveport says they spent about $25 million on water projects this past year, but have hundreds of million of dollars worth of projects ready and waiting for funding. Until then, they will patch the pipes instead of replacing them.

"The only thing that you've done is transfer the pressure from the last breakdown to that next point of weakness. What we have to do is come in and do much more comprehensive, much more whole repair, and upgrade our infrastructure system," said Mayor Cedric Glover.

To do that, Glover hopes the Shreveport City Council and Shreveport citizens will pass a nearly $300 million bond package. Until then, Stover and his neighbors will have to deal with low water pressure, and the city will continue temporary fixes.

©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.