Water should be flowing again in Weyburn after a major water main break forced a city-wide shutoff Wednesday morning.
Crews were able to get the break under control early in the morning but it caused water levels at the Weyburn reservoir to become severely depleted, leaving no choice but to turn off the water supply citywide for about 12 hours.
As of 11 a.m. the City of Weyburn tweeted out a notice that residents could expect a return to normal water service after 1 p.m.
ATTENTION: The water system will be re-pressurized at 1:00 pm today and residents should start seeing a return of water service shortly after 1:00 pm.
— City of Weyburn (@CityofWeyburn) March 28, 2018
The water main break happened at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Coteau Avenue and residents were asked to avoid the area to allow crews to continue working to repair the break.
“We have an ample supply of raw water, however, we need to treat that water and replenish the treated water reservoir which supplies the city,” said Superintendent of Public Works, Claude Morin in a phone interview Wednesday morning.
The water system was turned back on early Wednesday afternoon, but a boil water advisory will remain in effect for the city for several hours.
The city asked residents to restrict water use to essential needs.
“We will be repressurizing the system, 99.9 per cent of the community will have water service restored although they will be under a boil water advisory until we go through that process,” Morin explained.
The outage also affected approximately 300 rural subscribers with the Weyburn Utility Board.
The outage of water caused havoc across the city. All classes were cancelled at the schools within the city, including Southeast College. Surgeries at Weyburn General Hospital were postponed, and daycares and pre-schools were closed as well.
As the day went on, stores across the city found themselves running out of bottled water, as residents rushed to ensure they would have a reliable supply at home.
M.D. Convenience, a small store on 3rd Street in downtown Weyburn, found themselves steadily busy from 7:00 a.m., when they opened, on. Starting the day with roughly 75 large jugs of water, they soon found themselves with less than a third of what they started the day with.
“We’ve been trying to keep up, but it’s been crazy busy with people coming in and getting water because nobody has water,” said Joanne, a cashier at the store.
Similar scenes were being played out at stores throughout the city.
There is no word at this time as to the extent of the damage caused by the water main break. It is anticipated there could have been some soil displaced under the pavement as a result of the break, but until crews are finished making the repairs, there won’t be a definitive answer.
—With files from 980 CJME’s Sarah Mills and Steven Wilson for Discover Weyburn