City water line damaged

Damage to one of the City of Grand Forks’ water lines was discovered on Friday but the extent of the damage is still unknown.

With the high waters last week, it soon became apparent there was a problem.

“(Friday) morning, we experienced a major water leak in our water system,” explained Grand Forks’ Fire Chief Blair Macgregor.

“We had all five of our water pumps in our wells going full steam and the reservoir was going down, so we knew that we had a major, major leak.”

Macgregor said that the problem was isolated in about 30 minutes and it was traced to one of the lines that runs under the Kettle River – he said that once the water to that particular line was shut off, the pressure returned.

He assumes that it is a major break in the line and estimates that it could be caused by a log or added water pressure but because of current Kettle River conditions, it could be August before they know the actual damage and its full extent.

Macgregor also said that there were some buildings that have limited water.

“There’s one home that is affected at this point, there is the Selkirk College building, the senior citizen’s drop-in centre in the park and the city’s campground and washrooms (in City Park),” he said on Monday.

Selkirk College and the home were being fed by a surface hose, they had low-pressure, and the other buildings and facilities have no water at all – as of Monday afternoon. Macgregor said that officials were planning a course of action that would lead to repairs.

“We’re still figuring out how we’re going to do this. (We met Monday) morning and we (met) again after lunch, trying to decide exactly how we’re going to do these temporary fixes.”

On Monday, he said that he would like to have the fixes in place in three days time.

Following the leak, there were reports of dirty water but testing revealed that the water was safe.