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      Norway battles major water main break

      The sound of rushing water is music to the ears of anyone anticipating spring coming, but it's a different tune for crews in Norway.

      â??Weâ??ve had five house service freezes and breaks in the streets and we currently have four of them leaking; this is the first major water break,â?? said David Bal, with the Norway Water Department.

      That break happened on Highway 8 in Norway, also known as Brown Street. Work on that road will begin Tuesday morning with planning at 5:00 a.m. and digging at 7:00 a.m. This means re-routing traffic down Second Avenue West to Saginaw Street. Officials say the project should be completed in one day. During that time, residents of 600 and 700 blocks of Brown Street will have their water shut-off.

      â??We isolate the valves and dig down,â?? said Norway City Manager, Ray Anderson. â??Itâ??s in a US highway, which adds more complications. Itâ??s been a costly winter with the plowing and extra salt; we ran out of salt this year.â??

      It's been a costly winter for many Upper Peninsula communities facing water issues. The city manager says their water and sewer totals are in between $50,000 and $60,000 already, and they expect more issues to arise. Itâ??s why they're stopping city let-run orders.

      â??They feel it's better for us to shut down all the let-runs and see if something does freeze rather than having 350 houses running,â?? Bal said. â??Weâ??re taxing our water supply system right now with the main break and the houses running.â??

      The water supply system is definitely being exhausted; theyâ??re averaging 1.2 million extra gallons of water per day. And although it was 60 degrees on Monday, causing the frost to rise, it's still fairly deep.

      â??Itâ??s probably 10 feet of frost still in the highways,â?? Bal said. The side roads we're looking at six to seven feet.â??