Cast Iron Watermain Replacement Program
2022 A Record Year For Water Main Replacement
The City of Moose Jaw is pleased to announce that construction at all planned sites in the 2022 Water
Main Replacement Program has been completed, with a record 3.47 kilometers of cast iron replaced, in addition to
associated road rehabilitation. Read more here.
Virtual Open House
A virtual Open House was held Thursday, April 21 for affected property owners. The open house featured a power point presentation delivered by the City's Engineering team and can be viewed below.
In 2015 Moose Jaw City Council voted to launch the Cast Iron Water Main Replacement Project. Pegged to be completed over 20 years, at a cost of $117-million, it was the largest infrastructure commitment in Moose Jaw’s history.
It was a significant step forward by the Council of the day and was based on six principles:
- Moose Jaw’s cast iron water main replacement had been ignored for many decades.
- Moose Jaw was behind most other communities in Saskatchewan – by nearly 20 years – in addressing and funding cast iron water main replacement.
- The City of Moose Jaw needed to urgently address the replacement backlog and failing cast iron system to ensure that our City’s water distribution is healthy and sustainable for future generations.
- The City of Moose Jaw had 80 km of cast iron water mains, some up to 110 years old. Over time and without appropriate action, the problem of cast iron water main pipe corrosion and deterioration increased and threatened the water safety and security of our community.
- Cast iron water mains typically averaged roughly 100 breaks per year in Moose Jaw, with the City of Moose Jaw spending about $2 million annually on cast iron repairs alone.
- Cast iron is the highest priority for infrastructure repairs and replacement in Moose Jaw’s immediate future.
Sites in the program are determined by an assessment of the water main break frequency in the City, with areas incurring breaks more often placed higher on the priority list.
The Benefits to Property Owners
With any replacement of the water main distribution lines, properties directly affected benefit through a new water main and water service connection, and perhaps new sewer and pavement, all of which will enhance the value of the property.
Privately-owned land involved in the project would benefit by the local improvement by enhancing the land’s utility and its developmental potential. Because of this, there is an expectation for those who benefit more directly from the new infrastructure to fund a portion of the replacement cost. It is expected that value for these properties will increase as the service lift of the property is extended for an additional 70 years.
In some areas of the City, such infrastructure costs are included in the serviced lot price and thus these costs have already been incurred by those property owners.
It is important to note that everyone benefits from a renewed water main distribution system. The overall water system will be safer and more secure and that will benefit the entire city. Specifically there will be fewer service disruptions, fewer water main breaks, better water quality (less odour and colour) and new, better roads that will not have to be torn up and patched for breaks and leaks.
Since year 1 in 2016, the City has followed a few basic communications practices:
- Send letters to affected property owners in early spring informing them of their inclusion in the project.
- Include information pamphlets explaining the project, what to expect, etc.
- Host two Open House information sessions for affected property owners, with Project Managers and representatives from City Engineering in attendance to explain the process and answer questions.
In Year 3 further emphasis was placed on project communication to business owners, with those added practices becoming a component of the City’s Communications Policy. Key points include:
- Business owners shall be hand-delivered notices regarding the pending project a minimum of one month from the expected construction start date.
- Once a construction date has been finalized, updated notices shall be delivered a minimum of one week prior.
- Business owners shall be provided with contact information of the Project Manager and Communications Manager to address ongoing questions or concerns.
- The Project Manager and contractor work with businesses to accommodate deliveries.
- Where construction impacts access to area businesses, communications messaging shall indicate that “businesses remain open” throughout the project and, where applicable, maps be produced showing how customers may access the respective business(es) during construction.
Weekly updates shall be posted to the City website/social media accounts/local media regarding changes to traffic accommodation plans, project timelines, etc.
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