The City of Saskatoon is investing $11.3 million in water and sewer rehabilitation in order to inspect and maintain manholes and aging systems. During the 2015 summer construction season, digital imaging technology was used to inspect and evaluate manholes. The inspection was conducted by lowering a camera into the area and taking images that engineers can later inspect to determine priority areas for interior and exterior improvements.

Inspecting and maintaining manholes help identify deterioration that can lead to wastewater back up, caused by collapses and blockages, which are more common occurrences among older systems. Making sure the sewer lines are clean and looked after is crucial for system maintenance and ensuring a properly functioning system.

“While this maintenance and rehabilitation work to our underground utilities is not as obvious as road improvements, it is critical to providing reliable drinking water and sewer services,” said Celene Anger, Director of Construction and Design. Crews have been lining water sewer mains at key locations across Saskatoon with priority given to areas with a high break history.

Minimizing future break potential is the goal of the rehabilitation work. So far, three projects have been completed: nearly 14 kilometres of water main and sewer lining rehabilitation in 81 locations; 145 short service connection replacements including 100 lead connections; and 1,024 manhole inspections using new digital imaging technology.

“Through this new method of evaluation using digital imaging, we have been able to exceed our target quantity for manhole inspections this year. This method of inspection is not only safer and more efficient, but also results in a higher quality systematic inspection that is cost effective.” Additional rehabilitation work involves wetlands construction and sanitary force mains installation. This work is still in progress as we enter the fall season.

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