On the job rain or shine, day or night, public employees across Ohio are at work providing water to our homes and fire protection to our communities.
Water main breaks are often due to Ohio’s winter weather, but they can occur at any time of the year. They happen on both older and newer water lines.
While the pressurized lines are buried nearly 4 feet deep to keep them from freezing, intense cold and extreme swings in temperature “can cause the ground above the pipes to shift which can put a lot of stress on the lines,” said Chip Moore, president of AFSCME Local 1632, which represents Columbus city workers.
“We have about 150 people who maintain the 3,518 miles of water mains belonging to the City of Columbus. The crews work two shifts, but our members are on call 24/7. They are an incredibly skilled and dedicated workforce” he said.
According to Moore, the city utility department delivered an average of 133 million gallons of water daily to the Greater Columbus area and also maintain the city’s 25,611 fire hydrants.
From large cities to small towns AFSCME members keep the water flowing – including AFSCME Local 100 members in Cleveland who maintain the city’s nearly 5,200 miles of underground pipes and water mains. And in Toledo, where AFSCME Local 7 members are responsible for more than 1,100 miles of water mains and more than 10,000 fire hydrants, and Cincinnati where AFSCME Local 240 members supply the area with more than 48 billion gallons of water a year.