Universal Water Metering and Cross Connection Control – 2009-2012
(Residential and Commercial Program)
- Total Cost: $1,500,000 partially funded through British Columbia Community Water Improvement Program grant of $460,000
Prior to the installation of water meters, the Town knew only how much water was being introduced into the system via wells or surface water source, without having any idea how much water ultimately made it to the customer. Metering has enabled the Town to initiate a ‘user pay’ system and will allow the Town to facilitate tracking and repairing of leaks on both the private side and the public side of the distribution system.
Cross Connection Control, or backflow prevention, is a reversal of flow in the customer’s system and/or into the distribution system and can be created by any change of system pressure wherein the pressure at the supply point becomes lower than the pressure at the point of use. When this happens in an unprotected situation the water at the point of use can be siphoned back into the system, thus potentially contaminating the municipal water system and distributing the contamination to other users.
Installation of Pressure Reduction Valves (PRV’s) 2011
Significant work on the installation of the Shaw Road PRV, south of Davis Road, and the installation of a second PRV on School Road, north-west of North Fletcher Road, was completed during October 2009.
The installation of these PRV’S is a key component to the separation of the unchlorinated water supply in Lower Gibsons from the treated SCRD supplied water in Upper Gibsons. This is a Vancouver Health Authority requirement.
New 2,600 Cubic Meter Reservoir 2011-2012
The reservoir was constructed to store groundwater for domestic supply and to address fire flow deficiencies.
Replacement of Galvanized Watermains – 2011-2013
Water meter readings assisted the Town in identifying that galvanized mains were one of the most significant sources of system leaks due to their age and the level of deterioration, which leads to failure. Leaks in this pipe material are extremely difficult to repair as it is challenging to find a sound section of pipe to tie into resulting in extensive disturbance to existing roadways and to the area water users.
To alleviate these significant water system losses, expenses, and disruption in service, the replacement of 900 metres of 50mm galvanized watermains along six Town roadways was completed under the Towns for Tomorrow grant program. These water mains were replaced with 625 metres of 150mm PVC main and 190 metres of 200mm PVC, ‘looped’ wherever possible. This eliminated seven ‘dead-end’ sections of pipe improving circulation, addressing significant health concerns and improving reliability for users serviced off these mains.
In addition to the main replacement, 33 water services were replaced plus 31 valves and two blowoffs were installed. This replacement program eliminated a significant number of leaks, leading to reduced water use and reduced power to operate the Town’s well pumps.
While difficult to quantify the amount of water that is conserved, a leaking toilet can waste the equivalent amount of water in a year to what a four-person household uses. Conservatively, staff estimate that the water saved through replacing mains in this project alone, could easily conserve enough water to provide domestic supply for 200 additional residents.
Replacement of Asbestos-cement Watermains
Over 50% of the Town’s watermains, representing approximately 18 kms of pipe, are constructed of asbestos cement. Asbestos cement pipe was a popular pipe material in the 1960s and 1970s and used extensively across North America.
The use of asbestos cement pipe has been well studied and documented with regards to health and is not considered a health risk; however, it is prone to breakage. Due to the high leakage and failure rate the Town is taking a proactive approach to replacing all its’ asbestos cement watermains in combination with the pavement renewal program.