Leaky Laxdal Road water main to be replaced this year

Winnipeg city officials are promising to replace a section of water main that has broken 12 times in recent weeks.

Residents 'incredibly frustrated' with 12 main breaks in recent weeks, says councillor

Winnipeg city officials are promising to replace a section of water main that has broken 12 times on Laxdal Road in recent weeks, frustrating those who live there. 1:49

Winnipeg city officials are promising to replace a section of water main that has broken a dozen times in recent weeks.

There were 12 leaks in the water main on Laxdal Road between Dec. 29 and Sunday, affecting upwards of 38 homes, according to the city.

Harvey Osiowy's home has running water again on Monday, after city crews fixed a water main break on Laxdal Road on Sunday. (Marjorie Dowhos/CBC)
Geoff Patton, the city's manager of engineering services, says the number of water main breaks on that street in the last few weeks is "unprecedented."

"The number of repairs that have occurred in the last little while has caused us to place this water main in the highest priority for our work in 2014," Patton told reporters on Monday afternoon.

On Monday, city officials said the water main on Laxdal is a high priority on their repair list.

Work will begin in late April or early May, after the ground has thawed and overnight temperatures are above freezing, according to the city, which estimates it will cost $500,000 to replace about 400 metres of pipe on Laxdal.

In the meantime, Patton said the city is not expecting the water main to break again this winter, but crews are prepared in case it does.

"The water main has been stressed with the on-and-off conditions and the repairs that have occurred," he said.

"We're not anticipating another repair, but we're preparing as if there will be another repair."

Residents 'incredibly frustrated'

Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck says she understands how angry people on Laxdal have felt in recent weeks, after having to deal with so many water main breaks on their street.

Most recently, 16 homes were without water on Sunday after yet another section of pipe burst.

Police were called after some residents vented their frustration at city crews that showed up on the street.

"People are incredibly frustrated, and I understand that things became hostile toward fire crews. People were extremely worried that because this is a street with ditches that there was overland flooding," Havixbeck said Monday.

The latest break on Laxdal has been repaired, meaning residents like Harvey Osiowy have water again.

Osiowy said he and his wife, who has cancer, have been left without water for days at a time during previous water main breaks.

"It's the frustration, I think, more than anything," he said.

Osiowy said they have had to order take-out food, go to friends' homes to take showers, and haul in their own water.

The area has been plagued by breaks in recent months. On Jan. 3, the area had experienced nine breaks in one week. At least three homes on the street have been flooded from water main breaks over the last few weeks.

The water main in question was originally due to be replaced in 2015, but Havixbeck said the schedule should be moved up.

"If I foresee any delays with having this happen in 2014, I am going to suggest that they call city hall to get this done," she said.