2018 got off to a soggy start at St. Amant's River Road Place where support services are offered to Manitobans living with developmental disabilities and autism.
A burst pipe caused by freezing in the building's school and administrative area sent water rushing over two floors on New Year's Day.
Fortunately no one who lives at River Road Place was displaced but a local plumber says the recent cold snap has wreaked havoc on people's pipes over the past two weeks.
Jeremy Gerbrandt, a field supervisor with Winnipeg Supply, said the cold weather and lack of snow has resulted in a flood of calls from people worried about their pipes freezing.
“For us plumbers we’re noticing we’re going to some calls the last couple of days with frozen pipes,” said Gerbrandt. “Some of them are more minor than others.”
“The ground gets so cold, it got cold so quickly, what happened was that cold air, that frost migrates inside it goes towards the pipes so that’s why it’s important for homeowners to take the extra precautions.”
He said making sure water lines coming into the home from a water meter are properly insulated is important and keeping your home heated at adequate levels can help prevent frozen pipes.
If people are away on vacation, Gerbrandt suggests having your thermostat set for between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius.
Gerbrandt said between Christmas and New Year’s Winnipeg Supply received 187 “no heat” calls which can cause internal plumbing problems for people if their pipes freeze as a result of having no heat.
“It was an exceptional busy week for us.”
The problem hasn’t reached anywhere record-breaking levels experienced during the winter of 2013/2014 when hundreds of properties were affected by frozen underground pipes due to deep frost.
According to the latest numbers from the city of Winnipeg on December 27, there were no sections of city pipe currently affected by the cold and only four frozen pipes which belong to property owners.
The city said so far this winter there have been 115 cases of internal plumbing problems due to frozen pipes.
While the temperatures have warmed up compared to last week Gerbrandt said we’re not in the clear just yet.
“The threat’s not over yet,” he said. “ We still got lots of winter to go.”