Julie Fine, NBC 5 News
Four water main breaks in four days. Texas water pipes get a D- on a civil engineers report card. Experts say we'll see more breaks this summer thanks to the heat, the soil and an aging infrastructure.
A water main break not far from the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth was the fourth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this week and experts say you can expect to keep seeing more water main breaks.
On Thursday a 20-inch pipe 20 feet underground broke in the 3700 block of Ranch View Road near Overton Park West.
NBC 5 viewer Moni Gunderson shared photos and a video of muddy water flowing down the street.
"It was totally flooded, rapids everywhere, like a geyser shooting up. It was crazy," said Gunderson.
"It was quite unbelievable. There were logs in the middle of the bridge," said her mother Monica Gunderson.
Every day this week there has been a water main break in the Metroplex, only one was caused by human error.
Monday there was the major break on Marsh Lane that shut down traffic during rush hour. On Tuesday, a 10-inch water main broke on Walton Avenue damaging a Fort Worth home. On Wednesday night a construction crew severed a water main in Anna leaving thousands without water. No word how long it will take crews to repair Thursday's water main break that left approximately 90 customers without water in Fort Worth.
Experts say you can blame the hot dry weather, the Texas soil and an aging infrastructure for the water main breaks.
"The heat of the summer this time of year pulls moisture out of the soils causes them to shift, the brittle pipes can't move with the soils so they break," said Devon Tiner, President of the Fort Worth Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Tiner's organization rated the Texas water pipes a D minus in its 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure and says repairs after the fact don't solve the problem.
"It is definitely a band-aid. They are going in and fixing broken pipes. They are not rehabilitating the system," Tiner said.
The Fort Worth and Dallas branches of the American Society of Civil Engineers say they plan to partner together to come up with a more comprehensive report card for the Metroplex that identifies specific issues with the water systems.