The City's water distribution system consists of cast iron and ductile iron watermains ranging in age from relatively new to 50 years old and ranging in diameter from 150 to 450 mm. The City is served by two separate networks each of which has a number of pressure zones. In addition to this, the City's water pressure boosting station supplies water to development above the 190 m contour line which is the maximum elevation to which water can be supplied by gravity from the regional water tanks. In accordance with the City's maintenance programs, the utility maintenance crew provides annual maintenance in the form of hydrant and valve operation and repairs, flushing of dead ends and is currently designing and implementing a uni-directional flushing program.
As part of the flushing program. City staff maintains data on water temperature, pH levels, working pressure and flow. Staff also monitors the effects of water flows on higher elevation areas when flushing in areas near these zones. Over the past several years, the City has also developed a computerized dynamic model of its water distribution system and compares the model results with the actual field data. Results to date have indicated a good correlation with actual measurements taken. This model allows the City to predict the effect of major water demands such as large fires, new developments and fire flows upon the City's ability to ensure adequate water supply for such requirements.
MUNICIPAL WATER OPERATING PERMIT
Municipalities within the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Provincial Government have combined efforts to ensure high quality drinking water to residents with the introduction of the Municipal Water Operating Permit. This permit formalizes maintenance objectives, testing procedures and record keeping methods carried out by municipalities in the supplying of water to the consumer.
In response to the requirements of this operating permit, the City has established a very aggressive maintenance program covering the areas of leak detection, watermain repair, flushing, and valve and hydrant maintenance.
The City also has a number of policies and procedures in relation to individual water service lines for residential and commercial customers which can be viewed on this website. These policies are:
SANITARY SEWER SYSTEMS
The City's Sanitary Sewer System consists mainly of three types of pipe materials: asbestos cement, pvc sewer and concrete, ranging in sizes from 150 mm to 750 mm. The system also contains in excess of 1200 manholes and seven sewage lift stations of varying capacities. As part of the City's annual maintenance program, all sanitary sewer manholes are inspected, cleaned and flushed when required. To enhance its maintenance program, the City also incorporates remote monitoring techniques in which cameras are deployed to the sewer lines to assess the condition of the individual main or service lateral. This review is generally reserved for areas that have been recorded as having experienced ongoing problems or where streets are slated for upgrading.
The City has in-house capability for camera testing of small diameter lines and utilizes private sector resources for checking of larger diameter lines. In areas where the investigation indicates a build up of surface deposits or an intrusion of service laterals, the City employs a private contractor to perform reaming and cleaning of these lines followed by a re-inspection to verify that the system has been cleared.
The City also has a cross connection control program in place for investigating suspected cross connections between the sanitary and storm systems. This program is initiated when the City receives report of deleterious substances coming from storm sewer pipes into the City waterways. Upon receipt of a report, the Utility Maintenance (UTM) crew will visually inspect the system to trace the source back to the originating neighborhood and then through the use of dye tablets or specialized smoke testing equipment, will test the portion of underground system in question to locate any possible sources of the cross connection. In recent years, due to the City's ongoing efforts in eliminating cross connections and new controls that have been put in place to prevent the occurrence of new cross connections, requirements for this program have been substantially reduced.
To prevent further occurrences of cross connections within the City's systems, residents and businesses should contact the City's Engineering Division prior to conducting any plumbing work within their properties.
The UTM crew has a stand-by system that responds to all emergency calls 24 hrs. /day, 7 days a week. These calls are relayed from either the office staff during regular business hours (748-1016) or from the after-hours answering service (748-1006). If during the response to the call-out, the crew determines that the problem is localized to a specific service lateral, the crew will advise the owner that the blockage is contained within their service lateral. For residential units, the City offers the service of clearing the blocked service lateral for a fee of $50. The resident does have the option of hiring an outside contractor. The City does not offer this service to the commercial/industrial property owner. In those cases, the property owner must contact a private contractor to clear the service lateral.
STORM SEWER SYSTEM
The City's Storm Sewer System consists mainly of corrugated metal with various protective coatings and a minimal amount of pvc, (solid wall and ribbed) products. In general the storm water system outfalls to the Waterford River or its tributaries. In order to maintain the rate of runoff. the City has implemented a stormwater management plan focusing on pre and post development runoff rates wherein the pre-development rate will be equal to or less than the post-development rate. This is accomplished through various soft landscaping measures and storm water detention measures, either in the form of underground or above ground storage. The City has also initiated smaller pilot type projects in an attempt to reintroduce storm water runoff back into the ground to maintain ground water flows and also to maintain minimum flows under dry weather conditions in the various tributaries of the Waterford River.
As part of the annual maintenance program, the City's UTM inspects and cleans the approximate 1200 storm manholes and 1400 catchbasins. The crew also inspects and maintains storm water outfalls and inlets on an annual basis to ensure that pipe flows are maintained at a designed capacity. This work is performed in consultation with the Provincial Department of Environment and the Federal Department of Fisheries, to ensure that restoration of disturbed areas within the water course is in compliance with the applicable provincial and federal regulations.