City Crews Repair Leaking Water Pipes, Rusted Valves on Spokane Street
By: Hanne Smith
Repairs to the water pipe under Spokane Street were completed on Wednesday Feb 24, one week after the initial break was discovered. On Thursday Feb 18, a break was discovered in the Spokane Street water pipe, located on the steep section of Spokane between 1st and 2nd Avenues. City workers made temporary repairs that night, but in subsequent days, more repairs were necessary. Public Works Manager Darrin Albo described the situation as follows:
“The water pipe under this section of Spokane street was made of steel, and was probably installed during the 1940s. Life expectancy for pipes of this kind is less than 70 years, and at some point the threads of this particular section of pipe rotted away, causing the leak. The leak was repaired temporarily upon discovery, but in order for the City to effect a more permanent fix, it was necessary to shut off the water valves to the entire section. When crews dug into the road and uncovered the down-hill valves at 1st and Spokane, they discovered that these shut-off valves were also rotten and required replacement. All repairs were done – valves and pipes at both locations have now been fixed, and the water is flowing again.
“Rossland is one of many North American municipalities faced with replacement of aging infrastructure. In the case of our water pipes, we have a mixture of old and new pipes. Rossland’s oldest water pipes date back to the turn of the last century (eg: under Washington Street). Our steel pipes date back to the 1940s, and our AC (asbestos/cement) pipes date back to the 1960s. All of these older pipes have served beyond their life expectancy and the City would like to replace them. Fortunately, a recently awarded grant will assist the City in creation of an Asset Management Plan. When this document is completed at the end of 2016, the City will be able to plan for the staging (and financing) of critical infrastructure repairs – including those to our water pipes.”