City of Williams Lake utility three operator Nelson Landrey fills in the hole Monday where crews repaired a water main break near Terra Ridge along Hodgson Road Saturday.

City of Williams Lake utility three operator Nelson Landrey fills in the hole Monday where crews repaired a water main break near Terra Ridge along Hodgson Road Saturday.

Water main break leaves residents dry Saturday

A water main break left residents without water for most of Saturday after a "fair sized" rock punched a hole in the side of a water pipe.

A water main break in the Terra Ridge and Westridge areas left residents without water for most of Saturday after a “fair sized” rock punched a hole in the side of a water pipe.

“A call came in at about 5 a.m. and by the time we got the water shut off it was 6 a.m.,” said Joe Engelberts, the city’s water and sewer manager. “We replaced the pipe and had the water running again by about 5 p.m. Saturday.”

Because of the hole in the water pipe, the Woodland Drive reservoir was drained by 90 per cent.

“It’s the nature of the beast when you have a water main failure it does drain the reservoir,” Engelberts said, noting the low level alarm for the reservoir goes off once the water is depleted to 50 per cent.

“The reservoir is already half empty by the time the alarm goes off. It went off at 5 a.m.”

Once the pipe was repaired, the pump, which was located on the other side of the break from the reservoir, was turned back on and the reservoir was filled with water again.

There is always concern of damage further downstream when water is leaking from a water main break, however, this time the city was lucky, Engelberts said.

“Most of the water went into drainage and ditches down along Highway 20 and the ground wasn’t frozen so digging was really easy.”

Coincidentally, a FortisBC technician detected a gas leak while working near Hodgson Road and Terra Ridge Saturday morning as well.

Crews were called in from Prince George to repair the gas line, said Nicole Bogdanovic, a communications advisor with Fortis BC.

On Monday Nelson Landrey, a utility three operator with the city, was at the water main break site along Hodgson Road filling in the hole.

He pointed to an area about 60 feet away towards town where there was a water main break around the same time last year.

It was speculated last year’s water main break there was due to a landslide, Engelberts said.

As for Saturday’s water main break, Engelberts said he couldn’t say yes or no if land slippage was the cause of the rock punching a hole in the water pipe.

The public is reminded the contact number for reporting water problems is 250-392-5255.