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Water Today Title December 11, 2017

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BWA of the Day



Water main breaks and preventive boil water advisories are almost a daily occurrence in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec this winter.

"So far we've had 31 water main breaks since January 1, while most years we get 40 to 50 over the course of the whole year. So we're breaking records," says Public Works Director, Réjan Lesage.

Although some of the town's pipes are older, the main reason for all these breaks is the cold weather this winter, according to Lesage.

"Our crews can barely keep up," he says" but frozen pipes are an even bigger challenge this winter. Currently there are 100 frozen pipes around town and I don't expect the problem to end for at least another month. It has a lot to do with temperatures fluctuating between freezing cold and mild."

There are some 42,000 people in Rouyn-Noranda but the breaks and BWAs usually only affect 20 or so residences, and each is advised by a green notice on their door. The municipality also does a very good job of updating its website as new advisories are issued.

"Residents whose pipes are frozen have a harder time of it, as it cuts off their water completely. We visit every resident personally to assess the situation and the needs they may have. Bottled water is also provided to those with frozen pipes," says Lesage.

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