A truck is seen sunken in water at the corner of Waterfront Place and Quartz Road after a water main pipe burst late at night on Feb. 13. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Broken hydrant floods Quartz Road

Leak might not be repaired until Feb. 19

A broken fire hydrant that caused massive flooding the night of Feb. 13 still hasn’t been repaired, said Geoff Quinsey, manager of water and waste for the City of Whitehorse.

On Tuesday night, flooding was more than half a metre deep. Waterfront Place and Quartz Road had to be closed to traffic.

Quinsey said that because the area was so severely flooded, road crews had to investigate a roughly metre-long section of the water main, digging down 3.5 metres to identify the issue.

He said crews isolated it to the hydrant on Thursday, and found the leak sprung when a T at the base of the hydrant snapped off.

Quinsey said the hydrant was installed in 2011 and should have had a 50-year life.

Factors contributing to its early breakdown are uncertain, but Quinsey said it could have been a result of corrosion, uneven pressure from frost formation, last summer’s earthquake, or even someone bumping the hydrant with a vehicle.

Road crews are currently making the hole around the site bigger in order to get the water pumped down low enough to work on the hydrant.

“The problem we ran into is there’s tons of groundwater to the point that when we broke through the frost layer it welled up like an artesian well,” Quinsey said Feb. 16.

He said the hope was that the hydrant would be fixed by the end of the day Feb. 16, but it might not be repaired until end of day Feb. 19.

The only buildings in the area that were affected were Farmer Robert’s and an adjacent building.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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