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City of Moose Jaw crews work to repair multiple water main breaks

WATCH: Moose Jaw is struggling with a rash of water main breaks, as the city works around the clock to get repairs done, leaving some residents without water for days. Katelyn Wilson explains.

Roughly 50 homes in Moose Jaw were without their regular water supply last week due to water main breaks, adding to the agony of a deep freeze that continues to blanket much of Saskatchewan.

“It seems to be too early for the frost to be causing a whole bunch of issues. It’s been cold long enough so the only thing I can think of is the frost got driven down to a further level,”  said Jim Puffalt, Moose Jaw city manager.

Puffalt said the city has had 11 water main breaks and leaks since Feb. 15.

In 2016, the City of Moose Jaw launched its Cast Iron Watermain Replacement Program, a 20-year effort aimed at replacing deteriorating infrastructure.

READ MORE: City of Moose Jaw to pay for cast iron water mains after referendum sweep

Puffalt said the city believes the aging system has played a factor in the series of water main breaks.

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“It’s making a big difference, but generally, once you start one those of programs, it takes five to seven years to get out of the troubled areas and get to [another] section of the city,” said Puffalt.

“We’re still dealing with areas that have had multiple breaks.”

Bruce Mcnabb is one of the several residents who were impacted.

While some lost water for a few hours, Mcnabb and his family went without for nearly five days.

“We were fortunate. We filled our bathtub before they shut the water off so we actually had water for flushing the toilet and things like that,” Mcnabb said.

“It’s good that we have water back now.”

READ MORE: Moose Jaw, Sask. to decide on water main referendum

Mcnabb has lived in his house for 15 years and said he’s never experienced this problem.

“I’ve never had any issues like this; this is the first. We are kind of lucky. I know other homes have run into issues quite a few times,” Mcnabb said.

“I couldn’t image four or five more days without water.”

The city said crews are working as quickly as possible to repair water main breaks as they happen. With a majority of the repairs now complete, the city will move on to the remaining pipes next week.