Beaconsfield suffers water weekly main breaks from November to March


“As such, some residents in Beaconsfield experience coloured water at least once per week from November to March.” Duffield said

by Rhonda Massad

Beaconsfield celebrated its centennial in 2010, and its infrastructure is showing its age.  According to public works director Andrew Duffield, the city’s responds to one or two water main breaks per week.

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Residents in the affected areas endure rusty, sludge-like water pouring from their taps. Depending upon the size of the break, the city will advise residents through its Code Red emergency communication system, whenever  a significant number of residents are affected, as was the case with a break at St. Andrew and Church last week. 

City workers completed repairs the same day. In this case the city chose to use Code Red to alert the affected residents. 

“We received many calls from streets as far east as Kenwood to Midland in the West, as well as calls as from streets in the North sector such as Sherwood,” Duffied said. “Given that the incident affected more than half of the city, the CodeRed system was the best means to inform the community. The water main team, with the support of the Public Works reception, serves to provide information to the local area.

Early this week main break was located in the northwest corner of the city at Marion Hall that impacted the network of more than 100 homes in the surrounding area near Angell Woods.

“There was a break in a pipe in the building at Marion Hall,” Councillor Peggy Alexopoulos said. “The leak disturbed some of the sediment in the surrounding network. The valve serving the property was closed before noon same day, allowing any disturbed sediment to settle.”

Alexopoulos added that the incident was insufficient to alert residents even though many residents called in to public works to get apprised of the situation.

“My understanding is that Code Red is only used when a large segment of the city is affected. A lot of residents called public works and were told what the problem was right away and the impact was minimal,” she said.

Duffield says that typically the impact is minor and effects only two or three streets, which doesn’t merit informing residents via CodeRed or e-mail notification.

“Every time that the flow in the pipes changes, either due to the break or when the valves are closed to do the repair, rust sediment is disturbed,” Duffield explained in an electronic mail exchange. “As such, some residents in Beaconsfield experience coloured water at least once per week from November to March.”