Parkdale homes finally reconnected to city water supply

All homes in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Charlottetown have now been hooked up to the city's rehabilitated water pipe system.

City learned lessons during pipe rehabilitation program, says water and sewer utility

The temporary water line was above ground, and residents were asked to keep their taps running to prevent freezing. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

All homes in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Charlottetown have now been hooked up to the city's rehabilitated water pipe system.

The last house was connected around noon Tuesday — 124 homes had been relying on a temporary water supply for months. 

"Lessons learned, yes, but in the end hopeful that it's very good for our residents," said Charlottetown water and sewer utility manager Richard MacEwen. "Some room for improvement on any future project."

Delayed for disinfection

The project to improve water pipes and reduce water-main breaks began this summer. Temporary above-ground pipes were installed to supply water as crews worked to re-line existing underground pipes in the area using no-dig technology.

The city plans to rehabilitate pipes in other part of the city in coming years. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Work was delayed about six weeks because it took longer at the beginning of the project to disinfect the lines enough that the water was safe to drink, MacEwen said.

"We did not connect anybody until we saw a good water quality in the temporary water system," he said. "Once we had that assurance, the project started and went very smoothly and very quickly from that point forward."

Some customers complained about poor water pressure, and water wastage as taps had to be kept running to prevent freezing. 

The amount of water used by the 124 homes and the amount customers will be asked to pay will be reviewed by the city's water and sewer utility committee, MacEwen said — that decision will likely be made in the next month or two. 

MacEwen said the $2.4 million project remained on budget despite the delays. 

More pipes to be replaced in future

Putting a pipe inside the 50-year-old pipes should hopefully extend their life another 50 years, MacEwen said.

The utility is reviewing how much of its water system is built with pipe from the 1950s. The city plans to rehabilitate other neighbourhoods with pipes of a similar age, so lessons learned with this project will help.

"The general thought within the industry is that that was right after the Second World War — we may have been short on materials and workmanship," he said. "Some of it too probably is the engineering." 

The city is putting together a funding application now, so the work in other neighbourhoods isn't likely to start until 2020 at the earliest, MacEwen said. 

MacEwen thanked Parkdale residents for their "patience and understanding" during the project. 

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With files from Laura Chapin