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Abilene Water Utilities Department, plumbers responding to several calls as ice begins to thaw

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - City of Abilene Water Utility crews are busy repairing several burst pipes around the city due to the cold temperatures. Local plumbers are also seeing an increase in calls as ice begins to thaw around Abilene and the Big Country.

"Since Friday we've got 19 leaks so far," Alva Cox, Assistant Director of Water Utilities, says.

That's a large increase from what they're used to.

"On average, you're looking at maybe one, two a day tops," Cox says. "So, again, you can see the scale. We had 10 yesterday."

Cox says as temperatures rise above the freezing mak, he doesn't expect calls to slow down.

"Once we warm up, sometimes we get into where the ground starts shifting again," he says. "Then we'll have more leaks on the concrete and on the steel lines."

On a smaller scale, Black Plumbing has been preparing for the ice to thaw.

"Today [Wednesday] everything thawed out," Darrin Black, owner of Black Plumbing says. "The call load has been tremendous. We averaged well over 60 calls before the first half of the day was here."

That's just their Abilene location. Their other locations have seen a significant increase in calls as well.

"They're averaging anywhere between 20-25 calls a day where they would normally average 10," Black says. "We're dealing with a bunch of water leaks due to the thaw. The pipes contracted and expanded during that, they split, so we've got several leaks everywhere. We're dealing with outside faucets leaking. We're dealing with water lines leaking attics."

Most of the burst pipes city crews have dealt with are in residential areas. Cox says last year during this time, there were not as many calls for burst pipes because temperatures were not below freezing for as many consecutive days.

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