City installing temporary water services

Residents asked to check on neighbours and
help keep City phone lines open

Guelph, ON, March 4, 2015—Almost 400 customers in Guelph have a frozen water service. The City has installed 42 temporary water lines, and will install more than 100 more by the end of the weekend. More than 200 properties have enrolled in the City’s frozen water assistance program.

“We are prioritizing temporary line installations. People who need water for medical conditions and other critical care customers are our first priority and all of those cases will be addressed by the end of today,” said Peter Busatto, general manager of the City’s Water Services department. “For residential properties, we’re scheduling those who have been without running water the longest first, and we’re prioritizing businesses because we don’t want people going without pay because a business had to suspend operations.”

Crews are currently working on installing temporary lines for customers that called for service on or before February 26.

“We will continue working until everyone has access to at least temporary running water. With more calls still coming in every day our work plans are constantly changing, and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when a crew will get to a certain property,” added Busatto.

At this point, the City is focusing on installing temporary water services rather than thawing lines because it is the fastest way to get the most people access to running water. Several temporary services can be installed in the same amount of time it would take to thaw a single line.

Continued cold weather likely to cause more pipes to freeze

With sub-zero temperatures expected to continue for the remainder of the week, the City is asking residents already enrolled in the frozen water assistance program to help keep phone lines available for people reporting frozen pipes for the first time. The City’s resources are also needed to schedule site visits and restore temporary water services as quickly as possible.

“We know people are frustrated. Living without running water is very difficult and people are eager to hear from us. We appreciate everyone’s continued patience and will continue to provide updates. If we can limit incoming calls to urgent changes or issues, we can get more people enrolled in our program and restore water to more homes,” added Peter Busatto.

How neighbours are helping each other

It may be some time before water services return to normal in Guelph and other cities including Cambridge, Collingwood, Owen Sound and Sudbury.

In Guelph, people are already helping each other manage without running water, and the City is asking residents to check in on friends and neighbours and offer support if possible.

“Daily we hear stories of neighbours helping each other. People are sharing buckets of water for doing dishes and flushing toilets, offering showers and bathtubs, and letting us connect temporary water services to their homes. This kind of community support really goes a long way to help keep everyone’s spirits up while we work to get things back to normal,” said Busatto.

Contact Water Services

Daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 519-837-5627
After hours at 1-866-630-9242

Media contact

Stacey Hare, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2611
Mobile 519-829-0999