A downtown water main break last Friday evening cut off water to an unspecified number of homes and resulted in damage to at least one residence.
According to director of infrastructure Michael Mazurek the break was significant.
“[The public works manager] has been with the town for 42 years and he’s having trouble remembering when we had one this big,” he said.
“It is pretty much an unfortunate situation. An old pipe let go. It was a six-inch line, so fairly significant and it was a direct feed from our well site at Memorial Park.”
Mazurek could not say how many homes were affected when the line broke although the greatest impact was in the Halliford Avenue and Lime Street areas.
“Originally to isolate the leak we had to shut down service on both sides of the river temporarily, which made it seem like a bigger area was impacted…I am aware of one home that did experience flooding in their basement and that person has already contacted their insurance company and remediation efforts are underway.”
The break occurred shortly after 5 p.m. and some residents were without water for at least 24 hours.
“We were not able to start the repair until the following morning because we had to wait for Telus to do an emergency locate of any of their sub-terrain services. Unfortunately they had to send someone from Penticton and that person did not arrive until 11 a.m. on Saturday.”
Mazurek said water service was restored Saturday evening with the exception of two homes where users experienced some issues with water quality resulting from the incident.
The pipe that burst was likely between 60 and 80 years old, he said. “It was some of the original water piping in the town.”
A water works and water system capacity analysis was completed by the municipality in 2012, he said.
“It identifies some of our oldest pieces of piping network but does not set out a capital plan to replace them, at this point in time. We are dealing with it on a failure by failure basis.”
The cost of the repair, including employee and machine hours, is estimated at between $6,000 and $8,000.
“I think the guys did a fantastic job responding to a tough situation and getting it rectified and remedied.”