Nearly 2,500 Winnipeg homes and businesses have had to deal with frozen pipes since November – and frustrations are starting to boil over.
“It’s frustrating! It’s just completely frustrating,” said Winnipegger Scott Hertlein.
Hertlein moved back to the city in early-March and within days, the pipes at his family home were frozen – cutting off his water supply.
City crews showed up to set up a temporary hose hookup on March 20, giving Hertlein and his father access to running water from a neighbour’s supply.
But now, almost a month later, their water still hasn’t been fully restored.
He was told since he has a temporary solution, he will have to wait even longer to have his pipes thawed.
“They tell you, ‘We are working on it. We are working on it,’ but then they keep pushing you down [the list] and that’s the part that infuriates me,” he said.
Since the temporary line was installed, it has frozen twice. It also takes Hertlein twice as long to do laundry, and he hasn’t had consistent water pressure in the shower since the line was installed.
Winnipeg’s emergency preparedness co-ordinator, Randy Hull, said he understands people are frustrated but said city crews have to focus on people completely without water.
“If you do have a temporary hose line, you do have water. It does allow you to do cooking, washing, flushing toilets and household things,” he said.
Hull added the city is doing what it can to address the issue.
There are currently between eight and 10 different units thawing pipes across the city, and on average, crews are getting to between 20 to 23 properties per day.
As of Monday, 1,289 properties were waiting for thawing services from city crews, while 882 locations had city-installed temporary hose lines.
“We are thinking Mother Nature is going to help us by the end of June, but if you were to go through 20 to 23 per day, we are thinking that we ourselves could help out everybody by the end of June ourselves,” he said.
Hertlein said he understands people who don’t have a temporary hookup do get priority, but he wants a clear timeframe for when his water will be working again.
A city official told CBC it’s sending a crew to look at the water pressure coming from his temporary connection and see if there’s anything that needs to be fixed.