As city streets froze up Friday following a winter thaw, there were still 36 property owners in Corner Brook without water due to frozen pipes.
The City of Corner Brook was doing its best to assist getting water running in those homes and properties again, said Mayor Charles Pender, but the process is a challenging and time consuming one.
The frozen pipes are happening at a more frequent rate than usual due to the persistently colder temperatures experienced this winter, said the mayor. Despite the advisories to keep water trickling issued to areas previously impacted, it appears the deep frost has had its devastation on water infrastructure. It is occurring within both new and old infrastructure, and on at least 23 different streets across the city.
The city has been providing one of its two de-icing or thawing machines — which send a trickle of hot water into the pipes — in hopes of freeing the pipes.
It can also set up a Hovey, which sends an electrical current into the pipes in hopes of having the same effect.
If all else fails, said Pender, city crews will dig up the frozen ground and replace the curb and pipes. That would be at the city or homeowners expense, depending on the location of the problem with respect to the infrastructure.
Some properties have gone as long as 10 or 11 days without water. In such cases of prolonged outages, Pender said the city can sometimes help connect with a nearby residence to allow a temporary solution and they can also provide drinking water and also buckets of water for toilets and other uses.
“We will help people as best we can,” he said. “We have 30-plus homes frozen as of now ... until we can get to you, and thaw it — if we are lucky, with two full crews going, we can maybe do four lines a day, there could be a nine-to-10 day wait.”