Guelph, ON, March 2, 2015—Extreme cold temperatures continue to affect water services throughout Guelph. One hundred and forty-six customers currently without running water are enrolled in the City’s frozen water assistance program.
The program provides gift cards for local grocery stores so people can purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking, and no charge access to shower at the City’s recreation facilities, and to laundromats. The City is also delivering water to its more vulnerable customers, i.e. those with mobility issues.
“Our first priority is to make sure people have clean water for drinking and cooking,” said Peter Busatto, general manager of the City’s Water Services department. “People have also told us they’re getting help from friends, family and neighbours, and we’re grateful to everyone who is stepping up to lend a hand.”
Last week, the City was dealing with high call volumes and all of those calls were returned over the weekend. Now, with more employees dedicated to managing service requests, anyone calling about frozen pipes can expect to hear from the City within 24 hours.
“People have been very understanding. They can see we’re doing everything we can to get things back to normal. It’s no small thing to go without running water, and we appreciate people’s perseverance,” added Busatto. “All of our crews are focused on getting at least temporary running water to as many people as possible.”
On Tuesday March 3, from 7 a.m. until noon the City will also be performing emergency repairs to underground water services at the corner of Wyndham and Quebec Street. Temporary water services will be maintained and downtown businesses will be open and accessible during the work. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to follow all posted detours.
Guelph is one of several Ontario cities struggling with frozen water services this winter. Record cold, consistently low overnight temperatures and increased frost depth are contributing to service disruptions in Guelph and other cities including Toronto, Collingwood, Owen Sound and Sudbury.
With temperatures expected to remain below zero for at least another week, the City is asking residents and businesses to take steps to prevent household pipes from freezing. Tips are posted online at guelph.ca/frozenwater.
As warmer temperatures return, customers who have had frozen pipes should watch for cracks and leaks, and can visit guelph.ca/fix-a-leak for information about using their water meter to identify leaks.
Contact Water Services
Daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 519-837-5627
After hours at 1-866-630-9242
Stacey Hare, Senior Communications Officer
519-822-1260 extension 2611