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Home Canadian News Extreme temperature changes cause water problems in C.B.S.

Extreme temperature changes cause water problems in C.B.S.

The Town of Conception Bay South says recent water disruptions have been caused by weather, from the extreme temperature fluctuations to significant rainfalls. 

According to advisories issued by the town, there were water-main breaks on April 25, 28 and 30, planned repairs on May 13, and further disruptions due to emergency repairs on May 19, 21 and 22. 

“Residents may experience some minor water discolouration and pressure fluctuations after water has been restored,” read Friday’s advisory and those announcing previous disruptions. 

People in the community have been told to check all private plumbing, like pressure relief valves. 

“Residents should also refrain from doing laundry for approximately one hour after the water has been restored to avoid the possibility of clothes being soiled or stained by discoloured water,” the town said, adding people can contact its public works department if discolouration persists. 

Trickle down effect

A spokesperson for the town told CBC News on Friday the weather is to blame, as extreme changes in temperature in the winter and spring are a leading cause of water disruptions. 

“As the ground freezes and thaws several times it can shift the earth and cause water mains to break,” said Maggie Hynes.

“This can be enhanced with significant rainfall events” that make groundwater tables and subsurface flows higher, Hynes added.

Significant rainfall creating higher groundwater levels have contributed to recent water main breaks in the Town of Conception Bay South, a spokesperson says. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

On top of that, air in the pipes can be caused by several factors, including a leak in the pipe line.

Those air pockets “create rapid changing pressure fluctuations that may cause weak points in water mains to fail,” the spokesperson continued. 

Disruptions caused by all of those factors can lead to multiple leaks at the same time, and depending on the system layout, one leak may not become obvious until another is repaired.

On May 19, crews isolated a “significant leak” in Upper Gullies along the primary water main for emergency repairs, which carried into the next day. 

“It appears that isolating the Upper Gullies leak created several trickle down impacts throughout the water system,” said Hynes. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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