Water main breaks continue in Rapid City

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Water main breaks lost the city thousands of gallons of water and slowed down traffic in recent weeks in downtown.

At Least three breaks were reported last week. One of them is on Flormann Street while two others broke in the downtown area impacting roads.

Public Works Director Dale Tech says these breaks are not unusual, especially in the colder months when the ground freezes and thaws - putting pressure on the pipes.

On top of that, the age of the infrastructure is also problem. Tech says Rapid City has an aging water system so breaks are expected and budgeted for. As roads are redone, the water pipes are replaced with stronger, longer-lasting materials.

"We hope that the pipes we put in the ground today last 100 years," Tech said. "Once again, we won't know until some many decades down the road how the change in materials and technology in water system piping performs."

There are roughly 15 city employees dedicated to maintaining the city's water supply and fixing breaks. Tech estimates they saw six breaks last month.

Our own reporting suggests there was another half a dozen water main breaks in the month of January as well.