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City of Powell River completes water pipeline

Haslam Lake water trunk main project comes in under budget
haslam pipe
LAYING PIPE: The multimillion-dollar Haslam Lake infrastructure project is finished with only some site cleanup remaining. City of Powell River photo

Haslam Lake water trunk main line is again delivering water to residents from Haslam Lake, City of Powell River announced on November 29.

“We're conveying water from there and we have for the last several weeks,” said city director of infrastructure Tor Birtig.

The main contractor of the project, Murphy Pipeline, came in on time and on budget, according to Birtig.

“They felt that they would complete the work by the end of October and we were connected at approximately that time," said Birtig, "and then they had some time to do some cleanup."

The project began in August and the original budget approved by city council was for $4.2 million. The contract price for Murphy Pipeline was $3.1 million.

“There is some additional work that we want to do,” said Birtig. “We want to do some landscaping that wasn't part of the contract, but at this point we are under budget.”

Murphy is headquartered in Florida. It hired a number of local contractors, including Falcon Electric, Bob Marquis Contracting and Cranberry Construction, and local suppliers wherever possible.

The old concrete water pipe, built in the 1960s, was replaced after a three-month shutdown and a bypass system was used to deliver water to the community during that time.

The trunk main line extends 1,300 metres from Haslam Lake to the city’s water reservoir.

Murphy slip-lined the new pipeline, an installation process that involved pulling a high-density polyethylene pipe through the old concrete line.

“It went fairly smoothly,” said Birtig. “We were able to provide water via a bypass line for the entire project without any issues, so the supply was there all the time.”

Birtig added that the new flexible line will last the community 75 to 100 years.

In September 2016, the city received a $3.5-million water infrastructure grant from the federal and provincial governments to go toward paying for the replacement of the trunk main, estimated at just over $4 million, with the city picking up the remaining amount of approximately $700,000 from its reserve funds.

Because the project came in under budget, the city will not receive the full $3.5 million, according to finance committee chair Russell Brewer. The city’s contribution will also be less than budgeted by approximately $200,000.

With the Haslam Lake pipeline complete, the next major infrastructure project for Powell River is the wastewater treatment plant, said Brewer.

“Once we've got detailed designs completed and we finish that process by the end of March,” said Brewer, “then that will be the next really big one that we make application for.”

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