City of Kamloops finishes repairs on burst water mains

Lack of insulating snow, coupled with bitter cold, cited as factors in ruptures

Repairs are complete and water services have been restored following water main pipe breaks last week in the city that were blamed on abnormally cold temperatures and a lack of snow.

City of Kamloops utility services manager Greg Wightman said potable water has been restored to Glenfair Estates, government buildings and homes in Lower Sahali after water mains burst on Columbia Street, between Ponderosa Lodge and the Kamloops Law Courts, and on Greenstone Drive, between Bestwick Drive and Pyramid Court in Lower Sahali.

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Wightman said crews worked around the clock since Thursday and had water service fully restored by Sunday afternoon.

“We were really hampered by frost,” he said. “Once we started digging, we found about three feet of frost in the ground. So, trying to dig through that, it’s like digging through concrete.”

Infrastructure is not necessarily impacted when the thermometer hits a certain temperature, but a lack of snow has left the pipes without insulation.

“The snow almost kind of insulates the ground a little bit,” Wightman said.

“When there’s no snow, this minus-20 that we were having there can just penetrate the ground. That’s when you get this real deep frost and that’s when we see the impact on the mains.”

Other leaks around Kamloops during the cold snap included at Ridgeview Lodge in Brocklehurst and at the Staples building in Dufferin. Asked if other issues have arisen, Wightman said: “That’s all that we’ve seen at this point.”

Wightman will provide a report on the matter to city council on Tuesday.

Environment Canada is calling for flurries this week, with the temperature expected to warm closer to Family Day long weekend, with a forecast high of -2 C.


© Kamloops This Week


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