The number of water main breaks are slowly decreasing in the city, with help from the cast iron water main replacement project.
According to Director of Public Works and Utilities Darrin Stephanson, the city is on par with 2020 when it comes to water main breaks and they are seeing about 60 per cent fewer breaks compared to the average over the past three or four years.
The city recorded 53 breaks in all of 2020, while there were 109 breaks in 2019.
A big part of the decline in breaks has to do with the cast iron water main replacement program.
“With only 53 breaks in 2020, City manager Jim Puffalt said the year has been fairly quiet. In 2019, there were 109 breaks,” Stephanson said.
Most recently residents on Fairford Street East experienced a water main break, which Stephanson said was a cast iron break.
Stephanson added that he’s heard complaints about city crew’s having to come out to fix the same water main on more than one occasion. He explained that digging up old cast iron watermains can cause the ground to shift.
“You’ve got a fragile cast iron pipe that has been bedded in soil for 60 to 100 years and when you experience a break and have to dig that up you've now disrupted the soil all around that pipe,” he said.
Stephanson said ground shifting is the main factor in water main breaks. Dry conditions have caused the ground to shift in some areas. With winter here, several freeze and thawing cycles can cause issues as it pushes the frost line down.
If you see a water main break that isn’t being attended to, you are asked to call (306) 694-4448 or (306) 694-4450 to report it. You can also report issues through the City of Moose Jaw’s Request for Service app.