Water main bursts and sends glass, rocks flying

Nobody injured after White Rock incident

A ruptured water main on Johnston Road sent shards of glass and rocks flying Sunday afternoon.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., a water main in front of White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd.) was being pressure tested when it unexpectedly ruptured, twice.

“A subcontractor to Canadian Landscape and Construction Services (CLCS) was pressure testing the new water main in Johnston Road in advance of a finalized test this week when a fitting blew off. A second similar incident occurred a few hours later,” City of White Rock director of engineering and operations Jim Gordon said in an emailed statement Monday.

“CLCS has contacted Worksafe BC and is investigating these serious incidents. White Rock’s contract inspectors are also investigating whether the cause is related to defective parts or installation.”

The burst sent rocks flying towards the main entrance of the building, completely shattering one window and doing extensive damage to both glass doors.

Approximately four hours later, there was another water main burst, which caused more damage to the Playhouse and flooded the lobby.

Dann Wilhelm, who was inside the theatre for a Robin Hood rehearsal, made a post on Facebook Sunday saying that as a contractor was removing damaged glass, a second rupture occurred.

“Aaaaaand then it happened again,” Wilhelm wrote, “about four hours later. Restoration crews had just finished cleaning up the debris and water. As another guy was removing the remaining glass from the doors, the water main bursts again, spiderwebs the large window on the left and fills the lobby with more water and dirt. This is gonna cost the city a lot of money to fix.”


Water soaked much of the carpet near the main entrance, and paint was chipped four-metres high on the back wall, which is approximately four-metres from the entrance doors.

Nobody was injured.

Gordon said in a statement that the new water main is not yet connected to the city system and will not be connected until it passes a formal pressure test, bacteriological test and final inspection.

City contractors are currently working on Johnston Road, from North Bluff Road to Russell Avenue, for the city’s Johnston Road streetscape project.

The stretch of roadway has been closed since Sept. 10, the city said the road will be reopened to traffic Sept. 21. However, a sign advising of the construction said the road will remain closed until Sept. 22.


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