PENTICTON - City of Penticton public works crews will be returning to the site of one of two water main breaks that occurred last week.
A water main break on Sunday, Feb. 1 at the corner of Main Street and Wade Avenue sparked a boil water advisory and resulted in thousands of gallons of water flowing down city streets for a short period of time, leaving some city residents without water for most of the day. A second water main break occurred on Feb. 4 on Carmi Road, just east of the Main Street intersection.
City of Penticton communications officer Simone Blais said the cause of both breaks has not yet been determined. The fact the city had two broken mains in one week was a coincidence, but as far as averages go, not unusual, according to Blais.
“The city averages 13 water main breaks each year, and I believe these were the first two for this year,” she said.
Blais said what was unusual in the downtown break was the significant amount of water that came from the ruptured pipe.
“It destroyed a lot of things around it, including a nearby sewer main,” she said.
“That’s what triggered the boil water advisory. As soon as crews saw the damage done to the sewer line, protective measures were put in place,” Blais said, noting the city worked closely with Interior Health from the outset to ensure the water would be safe to drink.
More work remains on the water main, however. Crews are expected to return to the site Sunday to make permanent repairs to the water line using custom parts. Customers in the 300 and 400-blocks of Main Street will be affected Sunday, Feb. 15 from approximately 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., or possibly earlier if repairs go well.
Blais said the Carmi Road water main break had no relation to the one downtown.
On Carmi, a 250-millimetre main broke, causing no property damage, although 25 properties were without water for several hours. The cause of that breakage is also undetermined so far.
Compared to Vernon, Penticton Public Works has repaired half as many water mains, reporting 15 breaks in 2012 and 11 in 2013.
Meanwhile, scheduled work continues on replacement of a section of water main at the east end of Penticton Avenue. The work is progressing well, Blais said, noting the Penticton Avenue dog park will be closed from Feb.16 to Feb. 26 as construction reaches that point on the street.
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