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Published August 08, 2010, 11:23 AM

Fargo program replacing cast-iron water mains

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A program to replace Fargo's corroding cast-iron water mains has reduced the number of main breaks from a flood of 603 in 1988 to a relative trickle of 58 last year.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A program to replace Fargo's corroding cast-iron water mains has reduced the number of main breaks from a flood of 603 in 1988 to a relative trickle of 58 last year.

Mayor Dennis Walaker says the replacement program swaps out three to four miles of water lines each year. Deputy City Engineer Dave Johnson says the city spends about $3.5 million annually on the work.

Fargo records show an average of 34 breaks a year between 1948 and 1955. Acidic soils then began to corrode the cast-iron pipes and the number of annual breaks rose into the hundreds.

City Administrator Pat Zavoral and Walaker credit former Mayor Bruce Furness, who served from 1994 to 2006, with putting an emphasis on upgrading the city's aging infrastructure. Walaker says main breaks should be rare in 12 to 15 years.

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