Water main breaks plague city system

Water main and service breaks were three and a half times greater than the city bargained for last year and wasted precious drinking water

Water main and service breaks were three and a half times greater than the city bargained for last year and wasted precious drinking water.

The city has 290 kilometres of water main and sets a target of no more than 28 main or service breaks per year.

Last year, the city went largely over that goal, experiencing 15 main breaks and 81 service breaks, according to the 2010 annual water report that evaluates the city’s progress. The city cannot accurately measure the amount of leakage in the distribution system but considering the age and materials used, and based on national research, it’s estimated 10-15 per cent of total water consumption was lost.

A premature failure in the city’s infrastructure is the culprit.

“Ongoing increases in the number of service and main breaks indicated that aging infrastructure requires replacement,” said Jenny Brun, city water supervisor, in a report to council.

The water report states that the number of service breaks has been increasing for the past five years due to corrosion on aging copper service lines.

The cost of replacing the aging water infrastructure was not being recovered under last year’s rate/user fee which was only sufficient to fund operations, maintenance and treatment expenditures. Last month, council voted to increase its water rates. This year metered water customers will be charged $.40 per cubic metre, a difference of $.4 from 2010 and unmetered customers will play an annual flat fee of $156, a $12 increase over last year.

“Although 2010 revenues were below required amounts, the actual operating costs came in under budget and were significantly lower than other similar sized communities,” said Brunn.

Maintenance costs were under budget by $44,353 and in comparison to other similar sized communities, was 30 per cent lower than the average operation costs. In 2010, it cost the city an average of 59 cents to treat and deliver each cubic metre of water, which is above the current billed rate of 36 cents per cubic metre.

Residential water consumption per capita was up last year, at 496 litres per person per day from 2009’s figure of 444 litres per person per day, although the water report notes 2009’s water ban is likely to have made last year’s figures artificially low.

Just Posted

Disaster risk reduction course open to Campbell River high school students this fall

SRD protective services coordinator hopes program will eventually become integrated into curriculum

Large sections of Baikie Island Nature Reserve in Campbell River still in need of major attention

Greenways Land Trust has been looking for almost $1 million to address south side of conservancy

VIDEO: Break-in third this year at Indigenous art stores in Campbell River

Awatin Aboriginal Arts robbed for second time in 2019; Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures robbed in June

Artists ‘battle’ it out in Campbell River’s downtown

The excitement of Art Battle hit Campbell River’s streets Wednesday night as… Continue reading

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read