This winter’s frozen water woes have spilled into Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, leaving roughly 120 homes without running water through the night.
Sioux Valley Chief Vince Tacan said frost buildup caused a break in the community’s water line, a common problem in Winnipeg this year due to an abnormally cold winter.
In order to fix the break, Tacan said workers had to turn the water line off. Homes attached to it were scheduled to be without running water from midnight Wednesday till 6 a.m. today.
“When something like this happens, we just have to get in there and fix it,” Tacan said.
“We don’t know how long it will take,” he said. “We’re hoping it’s a simple fix.”
The community’s elementary school was closed Wednesday due to the repairs. It is scheduled to reopen today.
“We expect that there’s going to be a couple of days once it’s repaired that there will be sediment in the lines, so we’re bringing in bottled water to the school.”
Sioux Valley resident Elton Taylor, his wife and their two children live in a home connected to the community’s water line. Taylor, who has lived in the community for more than 30 years, said this isn’t the first time they’ve had their water turned off.
“We’ve always had water issues for probably the last 10 to 15 years. Now we keep at least eight bottled water in our home,” he said, adding his water has never been turned off for more than a day or two. “We’ve generally grown accustomed to it.”
Taylor said in cases like this, it’s important word gets out to the community.
“If people aren’t notified ... then it’s a major inconvenience trying to get some water and do your daily routine,” he said. “If we have enough warning, we’re usually prepared in terms of bottled water.”
Tacan said this is the first frozen pipe issue they’ve had so far this year, and not every home is hooked up to the community’s water line. Some homes get their water via holding tanks, which Tacan said can freeze in the winter.
“We don’t experience these too often ... as opposed to what’s happening in Winnipeg and other places.”
Despite milder weather this week, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that Winnipeg properties are still experiencing frozen water lines.
Over the four-day Easter weekend, a combined 16 new properties in Winnipeg reported frozen water lines, bringing the total since November to 2,499. Three hundred and fifty properties remain without any kind of water service — temporary or full — because of frozen lines.