Espanola council has given its approval to phase two of a multi-million dollar water improvement project.
Espanola has been dealing with brown water and water quality issues for a number of years, but with the approval of council, the original water main will be replaced over the next two years.
“The replacement of this section of water pipe will have the greatest impact at reducing water quality complaints and improve confidence in the distribution system when compared to other unlined cast iron pipe in the community. An incident of brown water occurring in the trunk water main has the greatest impact on the community to disperse poor water quality as opposed to having a smaller isolated pocket of poor water quality from the other pipe sections,” explains Manager of Environmental Services and Special Projects, Joel Yusko, adding replacing the nine kilometres of water pipe will have a positive impact on the community.
He adds under the grant program, the town is receiving nearly $ 3.6 million dollars each from the federal and provincial governments with the rest coming from local reserves.
“Post COVID and other world events such as the war in the Ukraine has increased the costs of the project for materials and services. In preparation to evaluate the tender results, the engineers adjusted the original estimate to reflect these changes. The new engineers estimate at the time of tender was $8,852,765.00. As is typical for most grant programs, any increase in cost beyond the original grant application estimates are the responsibility of the municipality, the grant amount remains the same based on the original estimates.”
Yusko says the project is estimated to cost nearly $8.9 million dollars with the work carried out over two years, from Queensway Avenue to Wood Street this year and from Wood Street to Second Avenue in 2024.
He adds awarding the project early will provide the contractor time to sort out supply chain issues. In 2021 for the Trunk water main project part 1 the municipality had to pre-order the pipe for trunk main part 1 prior to tendering to ensure the pipe would be manufactured and deliverable for the project. The project was still negatively impacted by a delay of pipe delivery and availability of pipe components.
Following his presentation, council unanimously approved the project and accepted a bid from Garson Pipe Incorporated with the work to begin this Spring.