Middle School closed by water main break today, city crews are very busy|
|Students attending Antigo Middle School got an unexpected vacation today.|
A water main that serves the school just south of the city’s downtown area ruptured making a mess out of the 800 block of Seventh Avenue and cutting water to the school’s fire protection systems, rest rooms, food services and more.
Charlie Brinkmeier, the city’s project manager, explained Antigo has been, and will continue to be, troubled by water main breaks. It’s one of the most severe winters on record which sent frost to levels below the water systems buried under the streets.
During the morning hours, a tractor-mounted hammer was slamming into the frozen soil under Seventh Avenue to reach the water line, and a backhoe were attempting to open the access to the line. Brinkmeier said “it was tough going.’’
“It can take hours,” Brinkmeier said, adding “if they are lucky.”
The problems surface when the site selected to open line access might not be where the leak is located because water can travel for a distance under the street before surfacing.
“That’s what happened to the crew on Dorr Street,” he lamented.
Brinkmeier explained that Antigo has had 16 frozen water mains this year while some other communities have had 30 or more.
“Our guys are doing an excellent job holding things together,” he added, working extra hours in weather conditions that have been less than hospitable.
Middle School students shouldn’t expect another break on Monday, the city will have the water system operating just fine.
City employees were on a water line hunt on Seventh Avenue today.