Repair crew fixes water line - An underground crack in the hydrant on the corner of Main Street and 6th Avenue led to a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory for residents on the 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street. The hydrant was repaired by mid-week. Photo by Charla Smyth

A Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory for the 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street in Kipling will likely remain in effect until the end of this week after a water line break occurred in front of the Kipling Public Library.
As CAO Gail Dakue explains, “Our Town Foreman, Kelly Kish, noticed water at the intersection of 6th Avenue and Main Street while he was doing a routine inspection last Friday evening.
“When a water break happens, the first priority is to isolate it so that we can stop the water from flowing. When the problem was discovered, our foreman secured the area. The water feeding the impacted area was then shut off.
“Once that’s done, the Foreman arranges for line locates and a contractor to dig the area to determine what the problem is. If it is something that we can fix on that first dig – we do that. But in this case, when we dug on Sunday morning, we found that the hydrant located at that intersection had cracked underground.
“Because this was something out of the ordinary which required that we obtain parts and have a contractor come in – we had to wait.”
Dakue goes on to note that a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory was issued for the 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street in accordance with the orders from the Water Security Agency.
“Whenever a water line is depressurized, Water Security Agency issues a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory for the area impacted by the incident.
“A Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory is issued by the Water Security Agency when drinking water quality concerns exist, but immediate public health threats have not been identified in the water. A precautionary drinking water advisory is a common consumer safety practice whenever major repairs are made to water infrastructure.”
Although the repairs were rectified by mid-week, Dakue notes that the Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory remained in effect.
“A new hydrant was brought in on Monday and the contractor was able to repair the damage on Tuesday.
“However, the Water Security Agency requires that we have two bacteriological samples, collected 24 hours apart from locations within the area of the water distribution system affected showing that the water is safe, before the Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory can be lifted.
“So, the Advisory will remain in effect until those tests could be done. And while the businesses and residents in the affected area will have water, they will need to follow the instructions on the Precautionary Boil Water Advisory until it is lifted.”
Dakue points out that the incident shows that the mechanisms which the Town has put in place are effective in a situation like this.
“Instead of the entire Town – or a larger area of Town – being affected by having the water off – Public Works was able to isolate the impacted area to only two blocks. It speaks well of the Public Works Valve Maintenance Program that they were able to isolate the problem and ensure that only those two blocks were impacted.”
She adds that the incident also serves as an example of why residents may want to prepare for the possibility of a water break, and take advantage of methods that the Town uses to notify residents of issues like this that might impact them.
“Water breaks unfortunately do happen and while we endeavor to inform our residents of the unfolding situation as soon as possible; this can take time. So best practice might be for residents to be prepared for these types of situations. (For example, residents might want to have some bottles of drinking water on hand in the event that something like this occurs in their area).
“We would also remind residents to sign up for our Voyent ALERT App. Those that have this App will receive an alert when there is an issue in the town which impacts them directly.
“In this case for example, residents on those two blocks would receive an alert about the Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory. But none of the other residents in town would get the alert – because the issue didn’t affect them directly. (Anyone who needs help to download the App can find instructions on our website or ask for help at the Town Office).
“As well, we will post notifications about incidents like this on our website and social media as soon as it becomes readily available. So, if someone needs information on a situation that might be affecting them, they can go to either of those sites to find that information.”

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