Breaking records: Regina hits all-time high of 72 water main breaks in August
City points to dry conditions, shifting ground
It's not a record Regina wants to break.
But the city is on the brink of setting a new record number for the number of water main breaks in August.
Pat Wilson, director of water works with the City of Regina, said the highest number of water main breaks the city has ever seen during August was 72.
As of Wednesday, there were 72 breaks this August — and still eight days left in the month.
The department is currently experiencing about seven new leaks per day.
"These numbers are higher than usual," Wilson said. "Where we would normally expect to have five or six leaks waiting for repair, there were 55 as of 8 a.m. Aug. 23."
Wilson said she has been redeploying staff from other tasks to get the breaks fixed faster. Any city crew may be assigned to priority breaks and won't move on until the repair work is completed.
"We are out there and we are working on them. We prioritize locations where customers are out of water first," she said.
According to Wilson, the spike in breaks is due to dry conditions causing the ground to shift.
She said there are more than 1,000 kilometres of water mains in the city and some sections are up to 100 years old.
"We do have a proactive program. Unfortunately the ground shifts where the ground decides to shift and it's just too much," Wilson said.
September usually has the highest number of water main breaks, so it's possible the city will break multiple monthly records this year.
WIlson said it's unclear whether the breaks will push the department over budget.
"If it continues with these high numbers in September and October, that's always possible."
What to do if you see a water main break
Service Regina can be reached at 306-777-7000.
Residents are also asked to report any changes in conditions of breaks.
When a water main or service connection break occurs, the city may bring in large water storage containers for the neighbourhood to draw from, deliver water through hoses connected to a water source or connect water service between neighbours.