Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesPotholes like the one located off of West Arrington Street are caused by the freeze-thaw cycle that follows snowfall or icy
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Potholes like the one located off of West Arrington Street are caused by the freeze-thaw cycle that follows snowfall or icy weather.
FARMINGTON — A recent dip in temperatures is causing some minor damage and maintenance issues to Farmington's water system and its roads.

Although recent temperatures are lower than normal, officials say damage is minimal because of low moisture levels.

"We haven't seen a substantial increase (in road damage), but we haven't had the moisture either," said Jeff Smaka, the city's public works director.

Road damage during cold temperatures is caused by water expanding when it freezes after being trapped under the road surface, he said.

The road surface sinks after the sub-surface ice melts.

"If we had more moisture, we could have more (road) deterioration," he said. "It's a mixed blessing because we need the water."

The city's water infrastructure appears to be affected more by the cold.

There were 22 water-main breaks and 19 service-line breaks in December, Smaka said during a report to the city's Public Utility Commission on Wednesday.

Thirty-seven water meters froze in the first few days of January, according to the report.

Most of the meters likely froze because businesses closed for the New Year holiday and turned down their thermostats, Smaka said.

The city also had to shut off the pump that supplies Farmington Lake with water because of freezing on the Animas River.

The lake is at 99 percent of capacity.

"The river freezes, but it's not anything unusual," Smaka said.


Advertisement