The last time Souris upgraded its water and sewer lines, Swiss Family Robinson was playing in theatres, Bobby Lewis’s “Tossin’ and Turnin’” was the number one song, and the population of Prince Edward Island was 104,629 (up to 146,283 as of 2014.)

It was 1961, and the growing seaside town installed iron pipes under its streets. Fast forward 56 years, and those pipes are worn out and cracked from decades of tree root growth.

“That’s a lot of stress over the years,” said Greg Jay, maintenance supervisor, Town of Souris.

Jay spent this past summer overseeing the ongoing replacement of the town’s sanity sewer. The investment in infrastructure was made possible by a funding partnership with the provincial ($42,238) and federal ($84,476) governments.

souris-wastewater-sizedGreg Jay, maintenance supervisor with the Town of Souris.

Souris’ 1,100 residents are now flushing into brand-new PVC pipes installed under Main Street and others.

“This work will keep repair and maintenance costs low,” Jay said. “We were having between 15 and 20 water main breaks a year, now we have maybe one. It’s a big step forward.”

He said the work being done will help protect the town’s high-quality well water, adding that the infrastructure is all separate.

Engineers are now studying the best options to upgrading the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

“That’s our next step,” Jay said.

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