Plumbers step up to unplug Winnipeg's frozen pipes
Some businesses sending big bills to city
Private companies are stepping in to fill the void left as Winnipeg's list of addresses waiting for the city to thaw their pipes continues to rise.
And city officials might have to brace for some big bills coming their way.
The city said Friday the number of properties on the waiting list was 1,332, an increase of seven overnight.
It said 6,312 are now at risk of their pipes freezing - this as the temperature this weekend is forecast to plummet again.
But one Winnipeg business, tired of waiting two weeks for the city to thaw its pipes, turned to a local plumber for some relief.
Ken's Carpets in Saint Boniface had to set up porta-potties for staff.
But that changed Friday, after plumber Donald Connors of Shields Plumbing and Heating used high-pressure hot water to clear the pipes at the Archibald Street business.
Connors said it can get a bit messy, and did in fact, with a sudden burst of water at Ken's Carpets Friday.
"Within 20 minutes to a half hour, we're clearing the lines," he said. "They've got running water and we're five for five."
Connors said Shields is one of the few companies using the technology which thaws not only the pipes belonging to the affected property, but the city's line as well.
"The way we're doing it, it's the only way that's getting the water running," he said. "It's very risky what we're doing because we are working with a street. It is under pressure but we did get the running water. So they have running water. They don't have to wait until July."
Staff flush with relief
Donald Marsh of Ken's Carpets said his staff couldn't be happier.
"It's good," he said, laughing. "It'll be a lot nicer to come to work and be able to go to the washroom and do your daily stuff, right? We can just get kind of get back in the swing of things and provide good service for our customers now, too."
Connors wouldn't give an exact price but said the job will cost between $300 and $500.
Marsh said he's sending that bill to the city.
Winnipeg's Emergency Preparedness Co-ordinator Randy Hull wouldn't say whether the city will cover such costs, but he does encourage anyone with a fix for frozen pipes to call the city.
"If somebody has a great idea, come to us," he said. "We'd love to see you demo it."