On a calm Saturday evening we bustled about the house, picking up stray laundry and other miscellaneous objects the week had collected, when we heard a rumbling that could have been thunder or could have been fireworks.
A look out the back door revealed a clear sky with stars shining. No thunder and no fireworks.
The rumble quickly turned to a sound of water gushing and we thought we’d suddenly inherited ocean-front property. A look out the front door revealed a small geyser in the yard across the street.
While a fountain in our neighbourhood sounded rather scenic, a water main break was not the kind we wanted. What happened next is the reason for this article.
Hats off to the city of Winnipeg employees that respond to emergency water main breaks.
A 311 call to report the break brought city employees within an hour. They capped off the spewing geyser as well as our source to water, but they didn’t leave us high and dry. They left a water cart on our street and we collected water in pails and pitchers. Brushing our teeth took a half glass of water instead of a steady stream of flowing water the equivalent of a gallon. Our ‘birdbaths’ were short.
By 9 a.m. the next day, city employees were back with big trucks, a back hoe, dump trucks, and at least six people. Neighbours emerged from their houses with large and small buckets and pails to collect water again. Conversations were struck up between neighbours and city employees who now had faces, families, and stories.
Instead of a water main break being a situation that caused tension and anxiety, it brought neighbours, still in pajamas, onto the street on their treks to the ‘village well.’
Suddenly there was time to chat about the last water main break, how summer was going or how the children had grown.
So thank you city of Winnipeg employees who sloshed around in the water and mud on our street to fix the water main break.
I’m sure you would have preferred to sleep in on a Sunday morning as well, but instead you were there fixing our water lines. We appreciated it.