Cold weather brings rash of water main breaks

Cold temperatures are keeping the city’s water and waste department busy.

Winnipeg’s Water and Waste Department attended to at least 20 water maintenance calls across the city last week. The calls consist of mainly repairing, replacing and connecting water main breaks in all city neighbourhoods.

The breaks did cause some delays for repairs in certain areas.

“Certainly they could have been here sooner,” said Alex Jackson, a River Heights resident.

“We waited basically for a week for a crew to come.”

Jackson said city crews arrived a week ago when the street’s water main broke to reduce flooding, but it continued to leak throughout the week.

A sheet of ice is covering his street’s road, sidewalk and his property. He said he’s worried about damage to his home from flooding.

“We don’t know what the affect will be on our sidewalk, our property.”

The City of Winnipeg’s website says the impact of water main breaks is higher in the winter months and if certain breaks are not creating problems, they will leave them on while attending to more critical breaks.

They said up to four crews work seven days a week, 11 hours per day repairing water main breaks, leaking or broken valves, and broken services. They also have two emergency crews available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The city said extreme cold conditions are one of the main causes for water main breaks, due to frost penetrating deep into the ground and freezing pipes.

The City said it currently averages about one or two breaks a day.

It said to call 3-1-1  if any resident notice a water main break in their area.