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Weather to Blame for Jump in Water Main Breaks: City

September 17, 2012 12:35 PM | News

Hot, dry weather is causing an increase in water mains to break throughout Winnipeg.

The city said on Monday it’s dealing with triple the number of usual water main breaks for this time of year, which are also causing some residents to experience discoloured water.

“This summer’s hot weather, coupled with a lack of significant amounts of precipitation over the past two years, has caused the clay in Winnipeg’s soil to dry out and shrink. This causes water main pipes to shift, resulting in an increase in water main breaks,” said Terry Josephson, manager of Water Services.

According to Dr. Lisa Richards, medical officer of health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, drinking discoloured water is unlikely to pose any health risks, but will smell unpleasant.

The city warns more water main breaks are likely if the dry weather continues.

Officials recommend letting cold water run for several minutes and then catching some in a clear glass to see if it’s discoloured or not. If the water doesn’t clear within five minutes, wait 30 minutes and try again. If the water is still discoloured after two to three hours, contact 311 by phone or e-mail 311@winnipeg.ca.