October 13, 2015


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Crews working around the clock on pipes

The winter of 2013-14 set new snowfall and temperature records and has seen the ground freeze to depths that haven’t been seen in decades. 

Winnipeggers are a hardy people used to extreme temperatures and its effect on providing city services. This year, however, has tried everyone’s patience, including myself and city service workers. 

City and contract workers thaw frozen water pipes on March 10 at Mountain Avenue at Salter Street.


City and contract workers thaw frozen water pipes on March 10 at Mountain Avenue at Salter Street. Photo Store

This winter has seen an unusually high number of homes dealing with portions of their water lines freezing due to the extraordinary depths the frost has penetrated into the ground.

Indeed, the last time the city experienced this number of freezing water pipes was during the winter of 1978-79. Though city service crews have been working diligently to deal with this unprecedented weather, their timely response has been thwarted by Mother Nature.  

Heating crews are working around the clock to thaw as many pipes as possible while staff from other departments have been busy setting up temporary water services via temporary hose lines and/or with water deliveries.  

The St. Charles ward has so far been lucky in experiencing a low number of frozen pipe calls, a situation we hope will continue as the spring temperatures melt the snow on our yards. Residents with concerns regarding their pipes are encouraged to visit the Water and Waste Frozen Pipe website at http://www.winnipeg.ca/emergWeb/frozenPipes.stm for up-to-date information on the situation.

Another big issue we are dealing with in St. Charles Ward involves back lanes. Recent warm temperatures have resulted in extensive rutting, which has left a number of back lanes impassable to cars and trucks alike. City plowing crews have been busy plowing the worst of these lanes over the past week to make them passable again while keeping the windrows to a minimum. As the melt continues to increase rutting, city crews will continue to work diligently to keep these lanes clear. To ensure we are able to get to problem lanes in a timely fashion, please notify 311 via phone (311) or email (311@winnipeg.ca). 

I think I can speak for us all in looking — longingly — forward to the spring and warmer weather.

As always, if you have any questions about information in my columns, or have questions about other civic related issues, I would encourage you contact me at your convenience via phone (204-986-5920) or email (gnordman@winnipeg.ca) at your convenience.

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