Town ready to start pipe inspections
Al Kendrick, director of Infrastructure Services said they have engaged a company to send cameras in some of the lines in Drumheller to access the situation underground. They hope to have definitive answers next month.
“They have been engaged, it is just matter of when they are going to show up,” said Kendrick. He is expecting them towards the end of November.
This past summer residents experienced sporadic issues with water clarity. While there have been issues with clarity throughout, water has been monitored and deemed safe.
Since then, the Town of Drumheller has taken action to solve the issues. Near the beginning of September, they completed a flushing program of the main line from the Water Treatment Plant to the Highway 9/Highway 56 intersection, and through September, they have run a unidirectional flushing program.
Throughout this, they have stepped up water monitoring.
The next step to the process is the visual inspection of lines via camera and other techniques to assess the interior of the pipes and pinpoint problems.
Kendrick said the town has been preparing for the arrival of the camera.
“We’ve done some pretesting in regards to launching the camera at one of the air releases along the pipeline. We have done some prep work, we’re pretty much ready for them,” said Kendrick.
One of the delays according to Kendrick is the company the town contracted has since been bought by Pure Technologies of Calgary.
“We are hoping to be going by the middle of November,” he said.
While water quality has been stabilized, he said they want to deal with the whole problem.
There is no estimate for the cost of the project, but it falls under their existing operating budget. They don’t want to limit the scope of the procedure.
“It depends on how far we go,” said Kendrick. “When we have them here we want to do as much as we can with the dollars we have.”
If the procedure exceeds the budget, he indicates they could go to council to secure the necessary funding. The bottom line is they want to pinpoint the issues conclusively.
“We want to continue until hopefully we have one, two or three of the issues out of the way in regard to the brown water. We want to know if it is mechanical failure along the line, if it is build up of precipitates or chemical reactions,” he said.
“Until we are 100 per cent certain, we don’t want to be out there saying it is one thing or another…rather than being half right or half wrong we’d sooner do a little bit more investigation, a fairly extensive investigation, and once we have that done we can put a plan together.”
“We all want it fixed, I drink water just like anyone else. Our operators all take quite a bit of pride in the work they do.”
Some of the long-term plans for the system include developing a physical pipe-cleaning program to supplement flushing, and continue with the existing cast iron replacement program.