January 22, 2015 - 4:30 PM
VERNON - Fixing aging water mains in the City of Vernon last year didn’t come cheap.
The Greater Vernon Water Utility, which operates the system, was billed approximately $370,000 by the city in 2014. That was for a total of 28 water main break repairs, or about $13,214 per break.
That’s in addition to the $2 million a year the utility dedicated to upgrading aging infrastructure in an effort to fix the pipes before they fail. According to utility manager Zee Marcolin, Greater Vernon water flows through pipes that are often 50 years old and renewing them is a work in progress.
With 25 breaks in 2013 and 33 in 2012, North Okanagan Regional District engineering manager Dale McTaggart says the bills would have been similar to 2014. Exact costs for 2012 and 2013 were not immediately available.
“We had some big ones this year and they cost a lot of money tearing up the road,” McTaggart says. “This might be a little higher than average.”
If we assume it costs in the ballpark of $13,214 to fix a broken water main, by simple math, that would mean a bill of approximately $330,350 for 2013's 25 breaks, and $436,062 for 2012's 33 breaks. Add them up, and we could be looking at roughly $1,136,412 spent in the last three years alone fixing broken water mains. Divided up among Greater Vernon Water's 52,000 customers, that's almost $22 each. And that’s just the monetary cost.
The breaks have a huge impact on residents. A series of breaks shut down roads in November and left over 100 residents without water.
For more on Vernon's water main breaks, visit past stories here.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015