A break in both the service line and the main water line caused flooding in at least one driveway in a Colwood neighbourhood on Monday night.
Residents of several other houses in the area were without water while repairs were made, with full service being restored in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Capital Regional District was made aware of the leak on Sunday by the owner of a Lagoon Road home but an inspector determined that very little water was coming out of the leak and that repairs could wait until a regular working day following the holiday on Monday.
“In the end it turned out … that it couldn’t wait but that was the assessment at the time,” said Annette Constabel, senior manager, watershed protection with CRD water services.
Constabel added that service line leaks are common and the surprising development for this leak was that it affected the main line.
“It is uncommon that a minor leak in a service line goes on to affect the main. That is quite unusual.”
Service lines are small, 3/4 inch pipes that serve a specific neighbourhood, while main lines are large, six inch pipes that are used to transport water over longer distances.
The service line leak appears to have expanded in scale and scope following the CRD’s assessment on Sunday, eventually affecting the main line.
The Colwood Fire Department reported to the scene shortly after 9 p.m. on Monday night with two trucks and 11 members. The CRD arrived approximately five minutes later and shut off the water line.
“We tried to mitigate any flooding that may occur. One of the residences was taking on a fair amount of water on the exterior but from what I understand very limited water [got] into the house itself, if any,” said Assistant Fire Chief Greg Chow.
CRD crews remained on scene until 3 a.m. and returned to the scene on Tuesday to complete clean up work.
Constabel said the CRD will review what went wrong with their initial assessment and determine if any changes need to be made in how they handle future incidents.
“We’ll review if there’s anything that we could have noticed at that time. At this point it doesn’t seem like it but if there is anything we’re going to review it to see what we can learn so we don’t get to this point again,” Constabel said.
“It’s unfortunate that a homeowner was impacted. The homeowner did everything right… Unfortunately, in this case it did lead to something bigger that we didn’t anticipate.”