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80% of water pipes in Victoria are ~100yrs old


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#1 amor de cosmos

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 07:09 AM

Clock Ticking On Victoria Infrastructure

VICTORIA -- As afternoon traffic hums through downtown Victoria Wednesday, people go about their business, unaware of the rush of water beneath their wheels and their feet, through nearly 1000 kilometres of sewer lines and water mains.

That is, until something bursts or needs to be replaced, like the water main on Discovery and Store crews have been working on. The steel pipe being replaced dates back to 1910, and ones like it all over the city are beginning to break down. "As time goes on, pipes get more fragile, more breakages occur and more leaks. A major overhaul will be required in the coming years" says the City of Victoria's Katie Josephson.

But for those living in the city's oldest neighbourhoods, like James Bay, underground infrastructure is out of sight, and often out of mind. Josephson says the issue is on the city's radar. "This is going to be a critical challenge for the Mayor and council in coming years."

Mayoral candidates have been hearing a lot about the so-called sexy issues like homelessness and crime, but not from everyone. "I was talking to some people in Fairfield and they care about what we're doing with our water and sewer, wondering if we are putting money away to replace pipes" says candidate Dean Fortin. "All cities have to replace those underground systems once in a while, and Victoria's getting to that point" adds Mayoral candidate Rob Reid.

http://www.atv.ca/vi...news_63378.aspx

#2 Rob Randall

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:01 PM

OPEN HOUSE: Learn More About Victoria's Steel Water Main Project

An 8 km section of the City of Victoria’s water distribution system is being rehabilitated.
The majority of this work will be completed between December 2008 and August 2009.

The work will take place in Fernwood, Hillside/Quadra, and South Jubilee. At times,
the neighbourhoods of Oaklands and Rockland may be indirectly affected due to re-routed traffic.

Two open houses are planned for the public to learn more. Registration is not required.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 27, 2008, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Fernwood Community Association
1923 Fernwood Road

For more information, visit:
www.victoria.ca/steelwatermain
or call 250.361.0443

Michelle Harris
Coordinator, Corporate Communications
City of Victoria

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#3 Bernard

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 09:10 AM

These could make good outings for us VV types....

#4 North Shore

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 09:31 PM

'S funny that... i was walking with Shore Jr. down to University Heights Mall yesterday. On the way there was a pipe inspection company truck, carefully guiding their robot camera down into the storm drains on a nearby street. Further up the street, a surveyor was doing his thing with a theodolite. Jr was curious, and so I started asking questions to see what was going on. Replacing Water pipes/ drains was the reply - "some of them are the old wood-banded ones." Hmm - my subdivision was built in the early 60's, and they were still using wood pipes then...strange..

#5 mat

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:01 PM

'S funny that... i was walking with Shore Jr. down to University Heights Mall yesterday. On the way there was a pipe inspection company truck, carefully guiding their robot camera down into the storm drains on a nearby street. Further up the street, a surveyor was doing his thing with a theodolite. Jr was curious, and so I started asking questions to see what was going on. Replacing Water pipes/ drains was the reply - "some of them are the old wood-banded ones." Hmm - my subdivision was built in the early 60's, and they were still using wood pipes then...strange..


Seriously - wood pipes? Surely even the oldest pipes would be ceramic or (ick) lead.

Anyone know of wood banded pipes in the region?

#6 North Shore

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:41 PM

That's what they said. I was pretty surprised - I thought we'd at least have asbestos/cement ones or something like that...

#7 Coreyburger

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 01:04 AM

Wood-banded must be really early, such as the first sewers laid in the 1800s.Interesting to dig through the archives and figure out when they laid the first non-wood pipe. Given the likely size of the city at the time, it probably made the news.

#8 G-Man

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:29 AM

Wood banded pipes are actually quite common in early Victoria. My mind is not working very well right now but somewhere in the city is a 6 ft piece of wood pipe on display. I am thinking it is in a park... Argh frustrating...

Anyone else seen this?

#9 Rob Randall

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 08:32 AM

Yes, it's in Selkirk park by the bike trestle. We saw it in our recent walk-about.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#10 Coreyburger

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 04:20 AM

The steel pipe buried along there is the old water supply pipe from Thetis, no?

#11 Rob Randall

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 06:38 AM

http://flickr.com/se...k victoria pipe

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#12 Bernard

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:02 AM

Mat, you even walked past the display of the wooden pipe on the walk we did last weekend.

#13 Caramia

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 11:58 AM

North Shore's little boy had a fantastic time hollering in the pipe and listening to his voice get all echoey!
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#14 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:24 AM

Those wanting to know more about the city's water infrastructure will be interested in a new post on the Unknown Victoria blog, linked here. There's also info about free tours of the Sooke Lake water facilities, happening the first week of May.

#15 G-Man

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:18 PM

Fascinating story.

Especially the tunnel. It would be interesting to know what the cost would be to build that today and compare it to the planned sewage system upgrade.

#16 smably

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:15 AM

Great post! I've been interested in Victoria's water infrastructure for a while. I walked part of the flowline a couple years ago -- here are some photos and a map of my route.

Anyone know what the state of the flowline is now? I know Sooke has been pulling parts of it out to use as planters and public art. I hope it's still walkable.

#17 victorian fan

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:56 AM

^
That's fascinating, smably.

#18 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:32 AM

recent Sooke flowline news:

Asbestos contamination sets back Sooke project; Pipe sections slated for planters, public art bear hazardous sealant
Bill Cleverley. Times - Colonist. Victoria, B.C.: Jun 25, 2008. pg. A.5
A discovery of asbestos contamination is threatening to add thousands of dollars to the cost of a public art project in Sooke.
The project involves large sections of the old concrete water flowline to Sooke now being given new life as planters and public art.
"If these were contained and housed and there was no chance for the public to access them, it would be no big deal," Sooke chief administrative officer Evan Parliament told Sooke councillors. But he pointed out that they would be located outside, so there is a need to make sure they are properly renovated to protect the public from any possible exposure.
"It's unfortunate but it happened," he said.
The Sooke Flowline Project involves hauling about 50 sections of the old Sooke water flowline pipe -- about 1.2 metres in diameter by 1.2 metres long -- to various locations around town. Grouping them together, they could be landscaped for use as planters.
Each display would be accompanied by historical photographs and information about the flowline's construction. About 15 sections of the pipe already have been distributed around the community.
Last week, project organizers discovered that grout originally used to seal the pipes is 45 per cent asbestos and has to be remediated. They're not sure how many of the 15 sections of pipe already dropped off are contaminated. .... Council asked for an assessment of how many of the sections are contaminated and authorized the expenditure of $5,000 -- already set aside for the project -- to help defray costs of removing or replacing those in city property that are contaminated.
Parliament said the discovery of the asbestos grout came as a complete surprise to the Capital Regional District.
"Then again, the records are 80 years old and I don't expect any staff member at the CRD to be digging through records that are 80 years old to confirm that. They simply didn't know," he said.
About 400 men worked on building the flowline between 1911 and 1914. The 42-kilometre flowline carried water from Sooke Lake to Humpback Reservoir at Goldstream until 1971, when it was decommissioned and replaced by the Japan Gulch Tunnel.

Construction obstruction
[Public Service Announcement] The Sooke Mirror. Sooke, B.C.: Apr 23, 2008. pg. 21
Please be advised of alternating one-way traffic on Sooke River Road and a full closure of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail north of Todd Creek until the end of June due to construction of the Sooke water supply pipeline ....
The Sooke Water Supply Pipeline Project will increase the capacity and security of the water supply to the District of Sooke.
The total project cost is approximately $20 million, and is comprised of 14km of water supply pipe and a new water disinfection plant.
The new pipe will run from the Sooke Reservoir down along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, through Sooke Potholes Regional Park, and onto Sooke River Road to a termination point 1km south of Charters Creek.
This project replaces the historic Sooke flowline which was built in the early 1900's and currently provides Sooke with its water supply. The project is being undertaken in three phases and will be complete by April 2009.


... so we should expect more news very soon. It's amazing that the flowline continued to serve Sooke's water needs for so long!

#19 Bingo

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:14 PM

If those pipes are over 100 years old they are older than the Johnson Street Bridge and will be vulnerable to the big earthquake that the City Council is fear mongering about. But perhaps they would rather have a safe bridge than a safe water supply.

#20 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:43 PM

If those pipes are over 100 years old they are older than the Johnson Street Bridge and will be vulnerable to the big earthquake that the City Council is fear mongering about. But perhaps they would rather have a safe bridge than a safe water supply.


If the water mains all fail after the quake, I want to be able to drive across the bridge to head up to the Sooke reservior to get my drinking water. God forbid if I have to fetch water from Swan Lake, or Goodacre Lake. Maybe I could get water from that watering can in Beacon Hill Park, they got that thing fixed yet?

Or I could go chop ice across the street at Save-On Centre.

All joking aside, we have two huge hot water tanks in the basement, if no one bathes with that water (and they couldn't, with no water pressure IN), our building probably is pretty good for a day or two as long as their is a drain spiget on those suckers.

Remember the rule of threes in an emergency, you can go:

3 minutes without air
3 days without water
3 weeks without food

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