The drought this summer played a major factor in both August and September being record breaking months for water main breaks in Regina. August saw over 103 water main breaks, and the 125 in September. Regina only had 28 water main breaks in September, 2016.
The current water main break record is 341, set in 2003.
Water works director Pat Wilson said they are still finalizing how much the September repairs cost the city, but it will not be a small figure.
“I anticipate that we probably spent around $1 million in September on water main breaks alone,” Wilson said.
“That would take us to about the total budget for this year. So as we continue to work through October, November, December we will be over on the water main break budget.”
This year’s budget for water pipe repairs is $2.8 million.
Wilson said this budget overage may be reduced by surpluses in other water works departments because projects have had to be delayed due to the amount of manpower needed to address the water main issues.
READ MORE: Regina sees record water main breaks in August
As October begins, there are signs that the breaks are slowing down.
“Overall, the number of breaks being reported daily has been cut in half, to about four or five a day from a high of eight to 10 a day through most of September,” Wilson said.
Historically, October is when breaks decrease according to Wilson.
This is sure to be a welcome sign for city crews as some leaks had to go unattended for up to two weeks. Water works addresses breaks and leaks based on priority set around public safety concerns plus homes and/or businesses not having running water.
The recent rain may help alleviate further problems into the winter time, but it may not be enough.
“Dry soil freezes faster, so we could see some deep freeze this year,” she said.
“What we can sometimes see are freezing lines, service connections can freeze.”