Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is responsible for the mains, service connections and costs?
This falls into two categories:
- Operation and Maintenance
- The water connection is the owner’s responsibility on the property and the city’s in the street. This line is typically at the curb stop or valve at the property line.
- The sewer connection is the owner’s responsibility all the way to the main. For example, if the connection is blocked by something that the owner ‘flushed’, the owner is responsible. The exception if the blockage is caused by roots from a boulevard tree adjacent to the property.
- On private property, the connections are the owner’s responsibility.
- In the street, the connections are the city’s responsibility for water only.
- Operation and Maintenance
- Who will be performing the construction of this project?
The City of Moose Jaw has awarded KMS Contracting the contract for Phase 1 of the project. The City’s Engineering department is overseeing the project and there will be subcontractors performing specific tasks related to underground, roadway pavement and concrete work. City Public Works employees may also participate in these upgrades at different locations over time and with additional training.
- What factors influence the cost of replacing cast iron watermains?
The cost to replace cast iron watermain lines varies for each property and depends on several factors, including size of lot and level of service required (eg., water or sewer connections), size of pipe, roadway disturbed, construction method used, curb, sidewalk. Costs cover materials and labour to supply service connections, asphalt, pipe and gravel. Other potential costs may include repairs to curbs and sidewalks.Based on the LIP funding model, costs to citizens could range from $4245 for a 25 foot lot and $8490 for a 50 foot lot, based on current construction estimates. These costs can be amortized over 20 years at a rate of 4%. These estimates represent 30% of total cost of the replacements, with the City paying 70% of the total cost.
- Why is the City of Moose Jaw addressing the cast iron project now?
- Moose Jaw’s cast iron water main replacement has been ignored for many decades.
- Moose Jaw is behind most other communities in Saskatchewan – by nearly 20 years – in addressing and funding cast iron water main replacement.
- The City of Moose Jaw needs 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 has 80 km of cast iron water mains, with one third of the system being cast, which can be up to 110 years old. Over time and without appropriate action, the problem of cast iron water main pipe corrosion and deterioration has increased and now threatens the water safety and security of our community.
- Cast iron water mains have typically averaged 40-50 breaks per year in Moose Jaw. Over the last few years, the City of Moose Jaw has spent about $2M annually on cast iron repairs alone.
- Cast iron is the highest priority for infrastructure repairs and replacement in Moose Jaw’s immediate future. Construction needs to begin immediately to maximize the 2016 construction season.
- What are the benefits of the Cast Iron Upgrade Project?
The City of Moose Jaw wants to be proactive about correcting the aging water system due to potential health concerns. The City will also save on major costs of maintenance of aging infrastructure. City Council has opted to make the replacement of lead service mandatory along with no corrode sewer lines. This requirement was approved by the Saskatchewan Municipal Board.Under the LIP, the COSTS for the water main, new street and service connection are a SHARED responsibility. The property owners that ‘benefit’ share the cost and responsibility for the replacement mains and their connections to the main lines.The City is paying 100% of feeder lines that serve all areas of the city and 100% of lines on all City-owned property.
Benefits to property are determined through Local Improvement Program Legislation which includes rigorous requirements and a well prescribed process, along with review by the Saskatchewan Municipal Board.
- Can’t the City just replace a part of the line instead of the entire system?
The City needs to do repairs in such a manner that it can provide the best assurance of safe, reliable service to everyone. In addition, the work is required to address water quality issues that have resulted in citizens, business and industry incurring costs for purification systems among other costs.A repair is not always possible or is the best solution because the host pipe that the City is connecting to may be weak and needs replacing. This is one of the reasons the City’s costs to maintain the infrastructure have been rising so quickly. As the program is completed, the City will have a system that could serve the community for up to the next 70 years.