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Cold weather causing water main breaks

Red Deer city crews are busy repairing three water main breaks from over the weekend.

Water mains broke in the Sunnybrook neighbourhood and along 44th Street, just west of Joseph Welsh Elementary School. There was also a break on a water service line, the residential line from the water main itself into a resident’s basement, in the Deer Park area.

“It’s a cold winter this year and the frost is deeper than usual, making the ground move a little bit, causing some sheer breaks on our old, cast iron water mains,” said James Christie, environmental services technologist with the city. “It could cause flooding. Each situation is different depending on the street or avenue.”

There was no significant flooding or serious concerns on any of the three recent incidents, Christie said.

“We excavate down to the main and determine the significance of the break and it’s usually a matter of putting on a repair clamp and then backfilling the ditch back up and hoping for the best. In the summer time, we’ll have to come back to these locations and reinstate them so to speak, as far as putting in proper concrete or asphalt or whatever the needs are.”

Red Deer experiences on average 45 to 50 water main leaks every year.

Christie said repair work should be done by the end of Tuesday or the end of Wednesday at the latest, with seven to nine crew members working on each break.

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