Winter weather can take its tole on a wide range of things, and it’s starting to cause damage to underground infrastructure in the city.
In the late evening of Saturday, Jan. 2, a homeowner on Central Avenue noticed water coming up from his front yard. A call was made to the city, and a municipal crew was dispatched to investigate.
The cause of the water was a broken waterline. Just before midnight an excavator and a crew arrived at the Central Avenue address. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Jan. 3, the excavator began digging to uncover the broken waterline.
The crew was done a little after 6 a.m. on Sunday.
The break on Central Ave. was on the down side of the street and if not corrected it could have damaged a homeowner’s basement, so it was dealt with immediately, says Daryl Halloch, Elliot Lake director of public works.
However, the pipe on Central did not have to be replaced. They were able to seal the break with a pipe clamp, he says.
While it is more common to have waterlines break when it is very cold, it does happen in milder temperatures as well, he explains.
“As cars drive along, they are pushing the frost down, which does things to these pipes.
“There’s always movement at this time of year and that’s where we get the breaks.
“This frost causes the ground to shift, which in turn causes older underground infrastructure (water pipes) to sometimes break, which results in a watermain break.”
The city experienced two other waterline breaks on Saturday, one was on Mississauga Avenue and the other on Hirshhorn Avenue. However, after inspecting those breaks they were not as serious. As a result, the work on Mississauga Ave. was done on Monday, while the break on Hirshhorn Ave. was expected to be dealt with on Tuesday.