Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Heat Wave Tough on N. Texas Water Lines

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Brittany Minor
    Brittany Minor spotted this ruptured line in Fort Worth on June 15, 2011;

    If North Texans have had more heat than they can stand this summer, the same can be said for their water lines.

    Water lines across North Texas are snapping from the blistering weather. Dallas crews are repairing 10 to 12 water line breaks a day, about five more than normal for this time of year.

    In North Texas, temperatures hit triple digits for the 22nd consecutive day on Saturday.

    The contracting clay soil in the region swells during periods of rain and shrinks and cracks during a drought.

    The twisting motion is particularly difficult on old cast-iron pipes in neighborhoods such as east Oak Cliff in Dallas. The result can be spectacular geysers.

    Dallas has more than 5,000 miles of water mains. About half are more than 50 years old.