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Water & Sewer Crews Repair Infrastructure Year-round

For immediate release: December 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
TU17-704

Until repair work shuts down a busy commuter road, the amount of on-going work required to keep water flowing and underground collection systems working may get overlooked.

“We have very dedicated water and sewer crews with experience in these types of repairs, even during extreme weather conditions,” says Russ Munro, Director of Water & Waste Stream. “They coordinate as much of the work as possible to minimize the impact to residents affected by water disruption and for road users, which includes scheduling work in phases or working longer hours.”

On November 7, a water main break along 25th Street closed the entire road for two days, while crews repaired the leaking pipe. As a result, City and contractor crews had two weeks of repairs and maintenance caused by that water main break.  This meant full-day water outages for 33 properties, valve replacement at four locations and repairs at two.

The City maintains more than 1,130 kilometres of drinking water pipes, 71,000 service connections and 1,400 valves, with similar amounts for collecting waste water. In addition, there are more than 700 kilometres of storm water collection pipes, 8,700 catch basins, 11,800 manholes and 3,000 service connections.

“There can be an increase of water main breaks at this time of year, when temperatures fluctuate above and below zero,” Munro says. “Regardless of its age, frost can cause the ground to shift and this slight movement can make a pipe – new or old -- to crack and leak water.”

Residents in neighbourhoods adjacent to a water main break or near an area where a break occurred within a few years are encouraged to prepare for an unexpected water outage by having an extra 3.8 litres of water per person or pet for up to three days.