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East Moline Public Works battles 38 water main breaks so far this year

EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- East Moline's Director of Maintenance says public works crews have repaired 38 water main breaks so far this year.

"I think a lot has to do with the drought and the dry weather we've been experiencing," Dave Lambrecht said, director of East Moline's Public Works.

In the past seven months, the city has had 38 water main breaks -- averaging to more than one main break a week. Lambrecht said, "peak season" for water main breaks typically occurs in winter months. However, in his more than 30 years with the department, he knows many breaks can be unpredictable.

"We've had them on new water mains, we've had them on, of course, very old water mains," Lambrecht said. "It just depends on the area, the usage - I mean there's so many factors."

The many factors contributing to each break also causing a domino effect on repairs. The manpower, machinery, and materials cost the city on average $5,000 each time.

As of Friday, a boil order was issued for surrounding businesses and residents in the area.

"Not having water, not having lights... (it) put us in a panic mode," said Connie Cornmesser, owner of Hey Bryans Bar.

In order to open, Cornmesser needed to bring in portable bathrooms and sanitation systems, buy bagged ice and even resort to plastic cups.

Lambrecht said the boil order should be lifted by Monday, August 5th.

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