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Water Main Breaks in Shawano

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Water Main Breaks in Shawano

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Oct 5, 2013

 SHAWANO, Wis.- The city of Shawano is dealing with water valves breaking and flooding businesses on Main Street.  

All this barely a decade after expensive reconstruction work was done in the area.  Now crews need to figure out what's going wrong after three bursts in the last five years, with the latest being just last week.

Tom True and his wife own Tom's Tap on Main Street, they've had to clean up after one of the water main breaks.

"Oh it was huge, everything in the basement was damaged," remembered True.

The clamp on the water main, the part bringing water into each of the businesses, broke and True's basement flooded.  It's a growing problem, business owners say needs to be addressed.

"It's going to be costly on the other hand it's very costly for the individual businesses, such as myself and Farm's Inn and every other one down here, if the water mains do break and your buildings get damaged," said True.

Breaks began happening after a major reconstruction project on Main Street back in 2002, at that time the water mains were replaced.

According to Shawano city administrator Brian Knapp the clamps shouldn't be failing.  He says the new parts should last at least 40 years, but there seems to be an issue with the new clamps.

"Those clamps unfortunately are corroding and a number of them have failed,:" said Knapp.

City administrators say it could be a manufacturer defect.  If that's the case every clamp for every business would need to be replaced.  

The other option for the breaks is a soil issue.  Either way the City of Shawano is looking at a long and expensive fix.