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13 water main breaks reported throughout Erie County

If you've been having trouble with your water service lately you're not alone.

Water mains across Erie County have been springing leaks for the past few weeks, reaching a crescendo on Sunday when the Erie County Water Authority reported a total of 13 breaks affecting locations in Cheektowaga, Clarence, Evans, Lancaster, Orchard Park and Sloan.

"It’s that time of year," said Robert J. Lichtenthal, Jr., deputy director of the Erie County Water Authority. "It’s almost equivalent to pothole season."

Parts of the aging water system simply can't withstand the region's freeze-thaw cycle, causing the water main breaks, Lichtenthal explained.

"It gets warm one day, gets cold the next, the ground heaves and old cast iron pipes give way," Lichtenthal said. "It's just wreaking havoc on the whole system."

The Water Authority has had as many as a half-dozen water main breaks each week for the past three weeks, he said, keeping crews and outside contractors busy.

"It's been pretty steady for the past two to three weeks but it hasn’t been like this," Lichtenthal said Sunday. "Yesterday and today have been abnormal."

The areas affected Sunday were:

• 168 Bridle Path in Amherst

• 334 Danbury in Cheektowaga between Maryvale and Rosary

• 11 Dania Drive in Cheektowaga between Hillside and Delray

• 61 Terry Drive in Cheektowaga

• Marcus Street in Cheektowaga

• 4421 Westwood in Clarence

• 7074 Waring Circle in Evans between Brandywine and Brandywine

• 679 Walden in Evans

• Wellington Drive and Lakeshore Road in Evans

• 1310 Peppertree in Evans between Nettle Creek and White Drive

• 3504 Bowen Road in Lancaster

• 8 Pleasant Ave. in Orchard Park

• 108 Crocker Street in Sloan between Broadway and Reiman

Crews were working at the locations, Lichtenthal said.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, crews had fixed eight water-main breaks and were still responding to nine others, Lichtenthal said. Those were among the 13 breaks reported Sunday and four others from Saturday, he said.

Work was continuing throughout the night and expected to be completed by Monday.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county's Department of Health is in contact with the Water Authority regarding the breaks.

"As of now pressure in mains is above safe levels but we will continue to monitor the situation," Poloncarz said on Twitter shortly after noon on Sunday.

"I want to assure everyone we are working as hard and as fast and as safely as we can to restore service to where it's out," Lichtenthal said.

Are we in store for more?

"I hope it's over with," Lichtenthal said., "but this can keep occurring if the temperatures keep cycling."

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