Cornwall has had 36 watermain breaks so far this year

Nick Seebruch
Cornwall has had 36 watermain breaks so far this year
A water main broke in front of City Hall on Friday

CORNWALL, Ontario – On Wednesday, July 11, Cornwall experienced another watermain break on Leonia St., brining the total number of watermain breaks for the year to 36.

On Friday, there was a break right in front of the front door of City Hall.

Having 36 watermain breaks is rather high for the mid-point of the year. According to Bill de Wit, Division Manager for Municipal Works, a typical year sees around 48 watermain breaks.

By October 2017, the City had experienced only 27 watermain breaks up to that point in the year as a comparison.

It costs the City on average $7,000 every time a watermain breaks, and that works out to around $252,000 spent on watermain breaks so far this year.

“The majority of breaks occur during cold weather months (November through April) but hot weather encourages heavy water consumption and as a result we could have water main breaks during periods of extreme heat,” de Wit wrote in an email to Seaway News.

During this year’s budget deliberations, Cornwall City Council approved a 6.25 percent increase to the Water and Sewer budget to help deal with the watermain issue.

The City of Cornwall has 280km of watermain pipes, some of which are newer plastic pipes, while others are older iron pipes. As of 2017, there was around 72km of pipe that needed to be replaced in Cornwall, and some of those were over 100-years-old.

Existing iron pipes are also being re-lined with a plastic lining that makes the pipe more durable and unlikely to break.

As of 2017, 19km of pipe had been re-lined, but there remained 136km of pipe that had yet to be re-lined.

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