Rotary Picnic Park near downtown Red Deer was flooded with a few inches of water over the weekend because of a water main break. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Water main break causes flooding at Rotary Picnic Park over the weekend

Rotary Picnic Park looked more like a wading pool than a picnic area Saturday afternoon.

The area was flooded with several inches of water in most of the park, due to a water line leak nearby.

“We heard about it just after 4:30 on May 20, so our after-hours folks would have responded to it. Got things under control and managed the impact of it so we could make preparations for the bigger repair that needed to happen,” said Jim Jorgensen, utilities manager with the city of Red Deer on Thursday.

“Probably the most unique piece of this and why it stands out amongst other leaks is the lay of the land and how it collected in one spot. Often times there’s a drainage route but because it collected all in that park area, it would have been quite noticeable to the public.”

Jorgensen said by Wednesday, the park had mostly been cleaned up. Only one residence on Spruce Drive was without water for about 10 hours.

He noted that typically, his department deals with an average of 55 leaks per year and so far in 2021, they have handled 25. Such leaks are common in colder weather which also made the weekend leak unique.

“They’re usually more common in cold weather or as the ground thaws and things shift and it can create a problem on the pipes,” he said.

“When we find out about it, we move pretty quick to try and deal with it as fast as we can, make the repairs as quickly as we can and try to minimize the impact on folks.”



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