“Toughest” leak shuts off water for 36 hours


FROZEN DIGGING: Crews had to dig more than three metres deep to get to the ruptured water main. -  TWITTER: @RACINJASONWHITE
FROZEN DIGGING: Crews had to dig more than three metres deep to get to the ruptured water main. – TWITTER: @RACINJASONWHITE

A broken water main left many residents and visitors in Sun Peaks without running water for approximately 36 hours on Dec. 26 and 27.

Sun Peaks Utilities received a call at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 26 reporting water pooling at the intersection of Sun Peaks Road., Village Way and Valley Drive.

As a result, water service was shut off to two subdivisions and seven townhouse complexes to allow crews to complete repairs. The affected properties were Trails Edge, McGillivray Townhomes, Stones Throw, Settler’s Crossing, Woodhaven, Crystal Forest, Trappers Landing, Bridgegate, Bella Vista and Lookout Ridge Estates.

Crews had to first dig through approximately 18 inches of frozen ground and it took the majority of the day Saturday to have the hole exposed. Crews also had to deal with two days of heavy snowfall and traffic at one of the busiest intersections in Sun Peaks.

“The crew did an amazing job because it was extremely difficult, it was down over three metres,” said Peter Nixon, manager of real estate for Sun Peaks Resort LLP. “It is probably one of the deepest water mains we have in the resort.”

Three water trucks were brought in from Kamloops to supply emergency water to the affected properties, which Nixon estimated accounts for 20 per cent of development in the resort. Trucks were also delayed due to heavy snow on regional highways.

“They (guests) had enough to flush the toilets and maybe do some dishes, but it wasn’t enough for showers because there wasn’t the pressure,” Nixon said.

Crews continued to work throughout the day Sunday and running water was restored by approximately 7:30 p.m.

A cross section of pipe that was put in place in the late 1990s had shifted over time, which caused the leak and is an occasional but normal occurrence, according to Nixon.

Nixon said crews received a great response from the community. People driving by passed coffees through their car windows and pizzas were delivered to those working on the broken main.

“It was really nice to see the community come together on it because it was probably the toughest water leak we’ve had to deal with from what I’ve experienced here,” he said.
“Just where it was located, timing and everything it was the toughest.”

A boil water advisory was put in place for the affected properties and water testing is ongoing. The advisory is expected to be lifted Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sun Peaks Utilities is responsible for full cost of the repair.