City’s watermain swapping program continues through Friday

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The City’s Watermain Swabbing Program, conducted every spring and fall, continues until tomorrow, Nov. 1.
It’s a maintenance program, and about five kilometres of the system is being swapped; the day-and-night effort began Oct. 28 in the in the following areas:
Ward 1: Strabane Avenue from Duckworth Street to Vancouver Street, Melrose Avenue from Duckworth to Vancouver Street, Napier Street from Duckworth Street to Vancouver Street, and Steel Street from Duckworth Street to Penetanguishene Road.
Ward 3: Bayfield Street from Livingstone Street north to the city limits, Cardinal Street, Robin Court, Cartwright Drive, Hadden Crescent, Rolston Drive, Meadowlark Road, Baltimore Road and Blue Jay Drive.
Swabbing involves scouring the watermain with foam swabs and high velocity of water. These swabs are injected at a fire hydrant, pushed along the watermain and are removed further down the main through another fire hydrant. The foam swab, combined with fast moving water, scours the inside of the main to remove sediment that builds up in watermains.
This sediment comes from naturally occurring minerals in the water and gradually builds up on pipe walls. Some residences and businesses will experience water outages as part of the swabbing process; those affected will receive written notice in advance of any outage. Some homes and businesses may experience more than one outage.
Residents and businesses may experience some water discoloration for short durations following outages. Follow these guidelines once watermain swabbing is completed:
• Turn on a cold water tap and let the water run for a few minutes. Do not choose a tap that has a water filter connected to it, or the sediment may clog your filter. Do not use a hot water tap because it could draw sediment into your hot water tank.
• Collect some water in a light-coloured cup or container to see if it is clear. Proceed to use the water if it is clear. If the water doesn’t clear in five minutes, wait 30 minutes and try again.
• During the outage, water pressure will come and go, but please do not run any water during this time period as it could cause large quantities of sediment to plug your service/plumbing/appliances etc.
Apartment property managers, landlords and business operators are asked to consider the following:
• Turn on a cold water tap near the water shut off valve (e.g. a tap in the mop sink in the maintenance room) and let the water run for a few minutes.
• Collect some water in a light-coloured cup or container to see if it is clear. Restore water to the rest of the building only when the water is clear.
If water is still discoloured after two to three hours, call the Water Operations Branch at 705-792-7920. Water Operations staff will be monitoring the watermains throughout this project. To see the affected areas on a map, visit the Water Distribution page via