Pipes burst without notice

With the fluctuating temperatures this winter it is no wonder Neil Delima, 37, found water collecting at the front of his driveway in Scarborough on Jan. 21.

“The water went off around six in the evening up until around nine … it was very cold and our daughter had the flu,” Delima said. “We called between eight and nine in the morning when we had seen a lot of water had collected at the end of our driveway.”

Every year during winter, pipes burst due to the cold temperatures. Jason Wai, a City of Toronto representative, explained that it is almost impossible for residents to take precautions against it.

“You can’t prepare for such a thing because the water mains stretch all along a road in sections,” Wai said.

In Delima’s case, a bolt that attached two water main sections together rotted off, Wai said. Even though pipes are usually laid down to the depth of the frost line, which is four feet below the ground, the freezing and thawing in winter causes pipes to expand in size. In turn, pipes burst and nuts and bolts pop off with pressure.

The city is known to use anti-erosion systems to flush sediments and maintain them by replacing water mains. However, people like Delima have learned to recognize the signs of a potential pipe burst.

“They were quite organized and gave us a two-hour notice before they arrived,” Delima said. “We wouldn’t have been able to take my daughter to the doctor if our driveway was blocked by the machines.”

If you do notice any signs of water collecting, or have any concerns call the city of Toronto at 3-1-1 or go to their website.