Unclear what caused Portage and Main water main break: City
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:04AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:02PM CST
Portage and Main is known for its wind, but on Thursday the intersection made headlines for its water.
City crews responded to a water main break at around 9 a.m. under a section of the southbound lane on Main Street.
Amid rush hour, crews rushed to stop water from gushing onto the street, which created a large pool of water that closed down Main Street’s southbound lane for more than two hours.
The break also sent water dripping below into a shop in Winnipeg Square. Kyung ho Lee, owner of Eshel Tree store, said the water started leaking from his ceilings around 9:30 a.m.
“The water drops. No customers,” Lee said.
The water main break also stirred up sediment in the pipes, making the water brown. Despite the discolouration, the city’s manager of water services said the water quality was not altered.
“We don’t have any concerns with water quality at the time. Water main breaks are a very common occurrence. We keep a residual disinfectant level in the water main system as part of our license,” said Water Services Manager Tim Shanks.
The effected pipe is a large, 12 inch in diameter, cast iron pipe installed in 1908. Shanks said the section where it broke didn’t have a customer connection, so crews were able to isolate the water main break without putting any customers out of water.
According to the city, water main breaks can be caused by pipe corrosion or soil conditions stressing the pipes. It’s still unclear what led to this disruption.
“The specifics of the actual break, whether it was a crack around or a pinhole or that sort of thing, that won’t be determined until we do the actual repair,” Shanks said.
While crews cleaned up, passersby were entertained.
“It was interesting. I need my hip waders or kayak to go out there today,” Akriti Sharma said.
“When they say Portage and Main is closed, you want to at least look, right?” Terry Plourde added.
Traffic resumed at the busy street at around 11:30 a.m., although pylons blocked at least one lane while city crews continued to clean up.