‘A pain in the butt’: Cold snap causes water main breaks around Calgary

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WATCH: About 200 Calgary homes were without water Monday night, as city crews battled frigid conditions to restore water service. As Gil Tucker reports, it’s a problem brought on by water main breaks caused by extremely cold conditions.

Water main breaks left about 200 homes in Calgary without normal water service Monday night, according to the city’s website.

It said crews were called out to do emergency repairs in five neighbourhoods around the city.

Water main breaks become more common during cold snaps when frost goes deep into the ground and causes the breaks.

READ MORE: How to save energy but stay warm during Alberta’s first cold snap of 2020

Water was shut off for about 40 homes in Mayland Heights in northeast Calgary early Saturday evening.

At that spot and in the others without normal water service, the city brought in water trucks where residents can obtain water.

“The first water truck was at the end of the block, so in these temperatures, it’s just really cold to go get your water,” Colette Bellefeuille said.

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“It’s a pain in the butt doing certain things. I’m going back to my mom’s to take a shower.”

READ MORE: In Photos: Here’s what an extreme cold snap looks like in Canada

Some residents sympathize with the difficulties facing city workers as they try to complete repair jobs.

“They can’t dig because all the ground’s frozen, so it takes them an extra-long time to get everything cleared out. It takes forever,” Derek Kent said.

“And then them outside β€” you’ve got to feel for the guys actually doing the work because it’s frozen.”

Some residents believe being patient about the problem is the best way to handle it.

“You just stay warm and you just conserve a little bit more [water] than you’re used to,” Bellefeuille said. “And you get to really know how important it is to have access to water.”