Freezing temperatures, cast iron pipes behind Kamloops water main breaks - InfoNews

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Freezing temperatures, cast iron pipes behind Kamloops water main breaks

Water flows down the street following a water main break on Glenfair Drive in Kamloops on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kamloops
February 13, 2019 - 10:02 AM

KAMLOOPS - The two recent water main breaks in Kamloops damaged some homes and had City of Kamloops crews working day and night.

Utility services manager Greg Wightman told city council yesterday, Feb. 13, the first reports of the water main breaks on Greenstone Drive and Glenfair Drive came in around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, and crews worked until 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10. to repair them.

Wightman said the roughly 40-year-old cast iron pipes were ruptured due to the recent cold snap in Kamloops.

"Typically when we see it get to like -20 Celsius and it starts to warm up a little bit that's when we see some shifting in the ground," Wightman said. "The cast iron pipes are notorious for breaking in those cold periods."

The ground was frozen about one metre deep, making it difficult to excavate the site and locate the leak.

The cast iron pipes are all over the city, as it was a popular material used in the 1960s and 1970s when the pipes were installed.

"With a lot of pipes of the same age you can't replace them all but we try to prioritize them," Wightman said.

Some properties were damaged as a result of the breaks but he didn't know how many. He said the city handed out a brochure that tells people to contact their home insurance company, which will then contact the city's claims department.


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