An Ottawa city manager says three water main breaks in the Orleans area in an eight-day span aren't connected and that the east end of the city doesn't have more failures than others.
In a memo to Mayor Jim Watson and members of city council, environmental services general manager Dixon Weir said an analysis of water main breaks over the last three years has determined they were evenly distributed across neighbourhoods.
"Staff have found no evidence to suggest that water main pipes are at an increased risk of failure in any specific area of Ottawa," said Weir.
The memo comes after three high-profile breaks in the Orleans area in the last two weeks.
On Oct. 7, a water main break caused part of St. Joseph Boulevard to wash out, creating a large hole in the road and also leading to a series of smaller water main pipe breaks that interrupted water service to 80 homes in the area.
Weir said city crews were assessing the pipes and exercising valves in the area on that day, resulting in sudden spikes in pressure. The sudden spike in pressure acted on an existing weakness in the pipe, likely causing the break, said Weir.
Another incident happened on Oct. 15 at St. Joseph Boulevard east of Tenth Line Road after repairs to a fire hydrant led to high pressure in a pipe, causing four breaks along one water main. Weir said that water main was set to be repaired.
A third break, also on Oct. 15, happened at Innes Road and Orleans Boulevard.
Weir said staff found no reason to believe the incidents are connected with each other.
He also added that there have been 181 water main breaks so far this year, which is consistent with previous years.