News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3386
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Cast iron waterline replacement program avoids trenching

The Town of Drumheller is employing a method of water pipe replacement that will potentially minimize disruption of service as well as excavations.

Drumheller is in the midst of a five-year cast iron waterline replacement program and this year is replacing lines on portions of 1St Street West, North Railway Avenue and Centre Street. The project is to replace a number of cast iron lines in the town that are in degradation.
    Al Kendrick, director of Infrastructure Services explains the method for replacing the pipes they are using is called pipe bursting.
    “What they do is send a wire through the pipe, hook the machine on it and pull the new pipe through it, breaking up the old one at the same time. This way they can put a bigger pipe in where a smaller one was before,” said Kendrick. “It is less disruptive and saves a lot of road repair, but there is still some digging that is required, but it is a little more efficient way to go.”
    He said the method they are using is not new, but it is being used more and more so not to disrupt the aboveground infrastructure.
    “We have done it before, but in smaller portions,” he said.
Similarly, the new force sewer main that has been installed from the 19th Street lift station to the wastewater treatment plant in East Drumheller has also employed working subsurface as not to disrupt surface infrastructure.
    “The majority of that line was directionally drilled and pulled in into place. They didn’t dig from 19th Street all the way to the wastewater plant, which is a kilometre, they did it in five or six pulls.”
    “It is getting used more and more because it becomes more cost effective.”
    Kendrick says Muzechka Holdings out of Edmonton was awarded the contract, and Murphy Pipeline Contractors out of the United States is doing the work.
    Kendrick says the lines are also pre-chlorinated which means the pipe going into the ground has a chlorine solution in it. This allows the installations to be disinfected and ready to be tested and flushed once the pipes are installed.
    The project was tentatively scheduled to commence July 30 and to continue for about seven weeks. He says there have been some delays in getting some components.
    He says they plan to disrupt service as little as possible and will notify those affected by the construction as each phase rolls out. The process will involve flushing mains during the process, and residents and businesses may notice a temporary increase in turbidity.


Weather, algae likely cause fish deaths in McLaren Dam

    Concerns about a number of dead fish observed at McLaren Dam could be alarming, but can often be expected in the summer, says a biologist from Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

A Drumheller Mail reader alerted the paper to occurrence of fish discovered dead on the McLaren Dam in Starland County. The dam is a popular destination for anglers and was stocked this year by Alberta Sustainable Resources Development with 12,000 rainbow trout.
    Vance Buchwald senior fisheries biologist for Alberta Fish and Wildlife confirms they have also received calls about the fish.
    “We have had reports from anglers there are dead fish there and a number of fish ponds,” said Buchwald. “It is associated with anytime we get an extended period of hot weather. The fish can die in the hot weather or as soon as we get a cold spell.”
    He explains there are a couple reasons associated with warm weather that can cause fish to die. He says warmer temperature weakens the water’s ability to sustain dissolved oxygen. He says the warmer weather also encourages algae growth. As the algae grows, it can deplete the nutrients it needs, and die out. Similarly, when the hot snap ends, and the water cools, it can also kill off large amounts of algae.
    “That is a stress on the fish,” he says. “When the algae dies it uses up oxygen as they decompose. The other thing that can happen is in the daytime plants produce oxygen, and in the nighttime, use up oxygen. The other thing that can happen is you can have high oxygen in the day time, but in the nighttime when there is a large plant biomass, it can use up the oxygen and can kill the fish.”
    He says they have not taken any water samples to measure dissolved oxygen content as often by the time they take the sample the levels are back to normal, and the results are inconclusive. He does say this phenomenon is typical in ponds in Alberta.
    “You have to remember, being a small pond out in the prairie, it is not the normal habitat for rainbow trout,” said Buchwald. “Some people tend to forget that. These fish dying out in ponds like that because normally they are found in pristine waters in the east slopes.”
    Having said that, he explains rainbow trout are a good fish for stocking purposes because they are relatively easy to reproduce in large numbers, and when not faced with poor conditions, they are hardy and grow fast. They are also popular for fisherman.
    He says now that the peak heat of the summer may have passed, summer kill conditions have likely passed as well.


Stuff That Bus for food bank Tuesday

Some work days, wearing those worn down, faded out, perfect fitting pair of favourite jeans is all an employee can ask for when heading out for another Tuesday on the job.

Now local workers may be allowed to earn that right from their managers while helping replenish the dwindled food reserves at the Salvation Army food bank on Tuesday, August 25.
Businesses are invited to ‘Stuff That Bus!’ on August 25, by bringing a bag of non-perishable food items to the ATB parking lot from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. to fill up a school bus of food items that hopes to help children of families facing the recession start the school year on a full stomach.
“It started with the Foodbank struggling with food reserves right now,” says organizer Heather Colberg, who got the idea from another town.
“I know it’s a crazy idea but I think it will work. I know my own staff gets ecstatic when I tell them they can wear jeans to the office the next day,” Colberg said, who hopes the event catches on in the valley.
Southland transportation has donated the use of the school bus, and Tony Lacher of the Alberta Treasury Branch is donating use of the bank parking lot.
“It was just a wingy idea that I thought would fly,” Colberg said while adding with the face of the economy right now, there are a lot of people out of work.”
“I have a kid in school, and I couldn’t handle if she went to school hungry,” said Colberg, who hopes the event will catch the eye, or butts, of the employees of Drumheller.



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