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Cracks in reservoir normal

Curing process assists in sealing leaks

Cracks in the reservoir that holds drinking water will be sealed before the City of Powell River takes possession of the facility, according to the manager of engineering services.

Richard Stogre told the Peak the reservoir hasn’t been commissioned yet. The tank will be fully sealed before the city receives it from the contractor, Stogre said. “Because it’s a concrete tank, they’re going through a process of sealing the larger areas with an epoxy coating on the inside,” he said. “As well, as it’s concrete, just the curing process in itself will also supply some sealing of the smaller cracks as time goes on.”

It’s not unusual to have a bit of leakage after pouring the concrete, Stogre added. “It’s a matter of time and it will be sealed up,” he said.

According to an email from Jeremy Sagebiel, the city’s engineering technologist, it’s standard practice to fill the concrete structure with water prior to crack sealing to ensure all cracks are addressed. The contract requires that the reservoir is water tight before the city accepts completion, he also stated in the email.

The reservoir, which holds 7.75 megalitres and is about 40-by-38 metres, is one part of an $8.5-million upgrade to the city’s drinking water system. A UV (ultraviolet) treatment facility is attached to the reservoir, which is located on Haslam Street. The other part of the project involves connecting Wildwood to the Haslam Lake water supply, which entailed the construction of a water main from Townsite to Wildwood and a pump station in Townsite.

The project was funded in part from the federal government’s infrastructure stimulus program, which originally had a deadline of March 31, 2011. The government extended the deadline to October 31, 2011 and the city applied for, and received, an extension.

However, the project is behind schedule, Stogre said. During construction, contractors ran into a large area of poor quality material—a level of clay—in the ground where the tank was being built. “They had to take more time to excavate that out and rebuild it, to bring the structural strength up,” he said. More structural fill had to be brought in, he added.

As well, it has taken longer than expected to connect power to the facility, Stogre said. Because of the excavation of the site, power had to be rerouted. In order to do that, the city had to negotiate a right of way with Island Timberlands, he added. “We are still negotiating that right of way,” he said. “We’re very close to having it signed and hydro will be connected at that time.”

The majority of the work was completed within the deadline, Stogre said. “The final commissioning of the tank has taken a bit longer. The claims have been made and all the work that’s going on right now...has already been encumbered within the contract. We’re working within the bounds of what the contract says. The money is there for them to complete the work.”

According to Sagebiel, the project cost to date is $8,364,390, meaning there has not been a cost overrun.

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