Once we knew we were going to be in a drought, we knew it would have an impact.
Ivan Luna, water distribution superintendent
CORPUS CHRISTI –
A year ago this month, the city had its entire water line repair crew working in shifts around the clock to keep pace with a spike in water main breaks.
The state was in the midst of the worst one-year drought on record. Corpus Christis shifting, parched clay soil paired with aging, brittle clay and cast iron water pipes exacerbated the problem.
Rainfall this spring and summer has helped keep the areas clay soil hydrated and the water main breaks at bay. Its meant the city is back to a normal shift of about 18 employees working rotating shifts.
For nearly five months beginning in June last year, the city devoted about 50 employees to repair 1,663 water main breaks — more than twice the number the city typically expects in a year. It cost about $1.5 million in repairs.