As reported last week in the Bulletin, the City Operations department has been advised by the Municipal Insurance Association that it will not cover any damages that result when thawing water lines with electrical currents. Stray current can occur during this process and stray current can cause damage to electrical panels which could result in fires, said Manager of Operations Mike Fox in a report to Council. In addition, this method can only be used in cases where water lines are copper or galvanized as those lines are conductive and can withstand the heat generated during the process.
Therefore the city will not be offering that service anymore. Fox told Council that there were several instances last winter where damages were caused to homes using this method for thawing lines. Property owners who had water lines freeze last year were offered a proposed solution this past fall — a flow restricter valve. Over 100 valves were picked up and installed by property owners.
Because the City has stopped thawing lines with electricity there are some lines that will remain frozen until spring if property owners cannot find a way to thaw them.
The City had some small bleeders made that replicated what northern communities use to keep water lines from freezing. These are not CSA approved and are only one method that can be used, Fox reported. The City has given these out at no cost but have also stated that residents are installing these at their own risk. The cost of these devices are $2.21 each.
You can also leave a tap running to prevent freezing. There is plenty of information available on the City website at Kimberley.ca
City Council approved the revised and updated snow removal plan at their regular meeting last week.
“It’s just a tweak,” said Mayor Don McCormick. “Minor changes, like updating equipment that has changed. Our approach is to make incremental improvements. If we see where something can be done differently, we’ll do it. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel”.