Cornwall has experienced 25 watermain failures so far this year

Nick Laurin
Cornwall has experienced 25 watermain failures so far this year
A watermain break on Sydney Street which took place in 2019 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – As of March 7, 2022, the City of Cornwall has responded to 25 watermain failures.

In 2021, the City of Cornwall responded to a total of 36 watermain failures within the city.

The average cost for a watermain failure is around $5,000 to $7000, depending on the roadway material (concrete/asphalt), surrounding landscape, and other utilities in the vicinity (gas, power, etc.), and the watermain’s depth of burial.

Shawn O’Brien, Manager at Municipal Works, told the Seaway News the most common cause of watermain breaks.

“Watermains break more frequently in the winter months (November – March), low temperatures can cause soil to freeze and expand, creating frost loading or force applied to a watermain. External corrosion and colder water temperature can cause the watermain to contract and break,” said O’Brien.

The City of Cornwall is currently dealing with a backlog for the upkeep of watermains within the city.

“Currently 20.9 per cent of the City’s watermain assets are due for the rehabilitation (watermain relining), or reconstruction (replacement of watermain). The backlog would consist of 57km of watermain which are due for rehabilitation/replacement within the entire 273.4km network,” said Micheal Fawthrop, Manager, Infrastructure & Municipal Works.

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