Long winter keeps crews busy | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 25 Sep 2018 9am

Long winter keeps crews busy

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    A long and snow-filled winter has kept town crews busy, and the prospect of a spring warming could also keep workers on their toes.
    The winter of 2018 has brought a sustained accumulation of snow, and it seems like it is hanging around.
    “It is very obvious that we are having a very unique winter this year. It is longer than normal and the amount of snow we have received “so far is definitely exceeding previous years,” said Infrastructure Services director Armia Mikhaiel.
    “This extraordinary amount of snowfall, the steady low temperature, and the icy road conditions all mean extra work volume for the Town’s crew in order to make sure the roads are safe.”
     He adds that this year the Town also hired some local contractors to help in the snow hauling process and to push snow to the boundaries at the snow dumps, in order to create more room for the extra snow volume.
    He says the impending spring could also apply stress to the town infrastructure.
    “With the temperature going up and spring approaching us, it is expected the melting snow will create an extra load on our wastewater system, due to the connected weeping tile from the houses to the sewer system,” he said. “Looking forward to spring, and if the snow melting rate is high, we can expect some surface drainage flooding due to the clogged culverts or frozen catch basins. We strongly encourage the residents to notify the Town if they see signs of street flooding, and to make sure any catch basin that is close to their driveway is clear of snow or ice.”
    He adds that property owners may also have to take action to prevent the water from causing damage.     
    A few hints to residents to mitigate the risk of having a flooded basement is to clear the snow away from the parameter of their basements and test the sump pump to ensure it is working properly when needed.
    So far, there has not been a prolonged warm spell, where there has been overland flooding. He says that the fluctuations in temperature can also cause damage.
The process of ground defrosting and the repeated freeze-thaw cycle could have a significant negative impact on our watermain network (the potable water pipes).
    He says the Cast Iron (CI) replacement Program, executed in the previous few years, was a very smart move and has definitely paid off.
    “The newly installed HDPE pipes have more flexibility than the CI pipes, and can absorb more ground shifting. We already feel the benefit of this CI replacement Program, as we used to have 10 to 12 water breaks per year in the past, while we only had two breaks this year.”