For the second time in what seems like a never-ending cold snap, relief is on the way.
While that’s good news for most people, for the City of Regina it means one thing: a big thaw.
So far there have been 14 water main breaks in January, which is about average for the entire month, but it could get worse.
“We expect to see a steady number of breaks happening, so I do expect we’re going to be well above the average for January,” City of Regina’s Director of Waterworks Pat Wilson said.
One resident took to Facebook to express his frustrations, saying he’s had to deal with four water main breaks on his street in the past two months.
“It’s very frustrating,” Regina resident Trevor Coderre said. “When you come home and you can’t park in front of your house or you leave in the morning and your truck is stuck in ice.”
Coderre lives in one of Regina’s older neighbourhoods, where more breaks tend to happen.
“We see them less in the newer areas, areas that have polypipe are much less likely to have those breaks,” Wilson said. “Our cement pipe and any old cast iron that’s out there is rigid and doesn’t cope very well when the ground is shifting.”
While there has been an increase in breaks during the extreme cold, the city says it’s not necessarily the culprit.
“It’s likely still a hold over from the very dry weather we had all summer and we do anticipate that we could continue to see these breaks going into the rest of winter,” Wilson said.
With temperatures warming up, the city expects to see some pooling of water on the streets, with water main breaks contributing to the problem.
“When we do have mains breaking, we do have water on the street,” Wilson said. “We do have a lot of frozen catch basins and so getting that water off the streets becomes more challenging in the winter.”
With 22,000 catch basins in the city, it’s hard for crews to get to them all. That’s why the city says if you can clear the catch basin or chip a path to one, it can help prevent the water from pooling on your street.