Taylor council approves water line upgrade

Taylor councillors have approved a $289,000 upgrade to a section of the district's potable water line that has been prone to leaks.

Council approved the project Tuesday, awarding the work to Big League Utilities Corp. The upgrade will see 460 metres of ductile iron pipe replaced with more durable polyethylene pipe.

The metal pipe was installed in 2010 as part of a complete replacement of the water line, but it has been prone to leaks due to corrosion caused by hot soil conditions, and ongoing sloughing of the river bank, according to operations director Ryan Nelson.

The district already replaced 44 metres of the metal pipe in 2017 because it was installed and buried without bedding, and without electrode protection to help prevent corrosion. That replacement was installed over land where most of the ground movement occurs.

Polyethylene pipe can handle water pressures, and is able to move with the hill and be placed back in position without shutting down the water system for long periods needed for repairs, Nelson said.

"This has proven successful in reducing the number of repairs required and down time of the system," Nelson noted in a report to council.

"Since an extreme erosion event occurred in the spring of 2018, where 20 meters of river bank was washed away, the ground movement in this area has increased and a longer length of pipe is at risk of pulling apart, beyond what was replaced in 2017."

Council was concerned with the cost of the replacement, initially pegged around $176,000 before it went out to bid in June.

The district received just two bids for the work, one of which was disqualified. The cost includes certain construction requirements, such as bedding material for the new pipe, contingencies, and performance bonds, Nelson noted.

"I'm not entirely comfortable, but in order to have this done before winter time, it needs to be done," Mayor Rob Fraser said.

The project will be paid for through capital water reserves. Roughly $435,500 will remain in the reserves after the upgrade. 

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

Forty-four metres of Taylor's water mainline was replaced in October 2017. The district will be replacing another 460 metres. - District of Taylor
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