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The original item was published from 10/12/2021 9:07:46 AM to 10/20/2021 6:05:02 AM.

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Press Release

Posted on: October 12, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Water Wisdom #23

Tuesday's Water Wisdom

 For Immediate Release:  10-12-2021

For more information contact: 

Keri Navratil


In previous installments of Water Wisdom, we have discussed watermain construction, what circumstances require water boil notifications, and the various functions of fire hydrants. In this installment, watermain location, pipe materials, and the variety of threats to the integrity of watermains will be covered. 

Watermains are the city-owned portions of the distribution piping network that serve as delivery conduits for water from the water treatment plant to the customer service lines. The pipes are typically buried in right-of-way areas and below the frost line to prevent freezing in the winter. Upon request through the Iowa One Call service, city crews will mark the locations of watermains with blue marking paint and flags. The marks on the ground reflect the location of the watermain, but it is the responsibility of the person or firm that requested the locate to determine the actual depth and physical location of the watermain to avoid damaging the pipe. 

Watermain materials in the City of Storm Lake typically fall into one of two categories, cast iron or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The cast iron watermains are older and plastic (PVC) is generally installed in the newer mains. Cast iron watermains can be vulnerable to tuberculation, which is a form of corrosion that results in iron oxide precipitation. This deposition of ferrous oxide tubercles will create a rough interior and can reduce the capacity of a cast iron watermain. This does not affect the suitability of the water for drinking purposes. PVC can tolerate more pipe deflection when installed but can be damaged from chemical exposure to the exterior of the pipe in areas where that threat exists. A common threat to both materials is a strike by a contractor during the course of excavation. A backhoe or excavator bucket can make short work of either material resulting in a leaking watermain. Know what’s below and call 811 before you dig. For more information on locating underground utilities, please visit:

More tips regarding voluntary water conservations measures and tips for reducing water consumption will follow each Tuesday.  Ensuring wise use of our water resources is in the best interest of the community.

Being Storm Lake Proud is not one day, one week, one month or one event.  Being Storm Lake Proud is a magnificent lifestyle!  More information about the City of Storm Lake can be found on the city’s website at 


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