“It’s never good when you are forced into a situation by lack of options to do fairly drastic things but that’s the situation we found ourselves in. Inside that scenario the staff performed well and the contractors we involved were fantastic. Lethbridge County and the City of Lethbridge both contributed to make that situation a lot better than it might have otherwise been. I feel that, in the context of that scenario, it went as about as well as it could have gone,” said Mike Derricott, chief administrative officer (CAO) of the Town of Picture Butte, as he debriefed town councillors regarding the incident.
Derricott noted the plans implemented were well thought through, the tasks the town needed to try before taking action were done and the process was sound. “The result was favourable in the end.”
According to the CAO, Keith Davis, director of operational services for the town and town employees were responsible for the bulk of the work needed to be completed. “We appreciate the positive comments but what I think we’d like to do is not see it get to quite that next time,” said Davis, adding he is currently working to identify all of the town’s water valves. The one important aspect Derricott added is the location of the break was incredibly fortunate — the location was in an unpaved alley with no sidewalks or other infrastructure and there was a place for the water to flow away down a natural drainage. “There was a significant amount of water lost in this water break and if that had happened under a highway or under a street we would be looking at a huge price tag,” added Derricott.