Water main breaks usually result from external corrosion of the pipe. Extreme weather changes can cause the ground to swell and contract, placing excessive pressure on the water main, causing a weakened pipe to break. Also, as the water temperature starts to get colder in the fall, contraction of the pipes causes the weaker pipe connections and joints to fail. If this happens, the water usually finds its way to the surface. Because the water main is under pressure, water will continue to flow until the break is controlled.
Cold weather can also cause water main breaks. Water main breaks are more likely to occur from late January until early April, when frost penetrates deep into the ground, to a level of five to six feet. While cold temperatures may send the frost deeper, the level of snow cover is also important. Snow acts as a blanket that insulates the ground. In years when there is plenty of snow, the frost does not go as deep.
The first line of defense in leak detection is paying attention to any visible leaks that are observed and reported by property owners and the public. This could be a ditch full of water that is normally dry between rain events. Or a soft, wet, green patch of grass in a front yard during a dry spell in the summer. In the winter, a patch of front yard may be void of snow while the rest of the yard remains covered.
If you suspect a water main break, please contact Utility Manager, Don Todorovich at 204-748-1239. After regular business hours, please call 204-851-7202.