Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan invest in waterline replacement technology
November 25, 2011

Regina, Saskatchewan —Thanks to funding from the federal and provincial governments through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA), Saskatchewan municipalities may soon have access to a more affordable and less disruptive method of replacing water service connections.

Palliser Member of Parliament Ray Boughen, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Laura Ross, Minister of Government Services on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Enterprise and Minister Responsible for Trade, today announced a shared investment of $140,000 for Communities of Tomorrow (CT) to design, build and pilot test a “cage and winch” water service connection replacement system to replace buried water lines (from the street to a water meter).

The CT project team includes public works and engineering staff members from Estevan, Humboldt, Melfort, North Battleford, Regina, Saskatoon, and Weyburn. City crews in North Battleford and Regina field tested the design.

“Our Government supports technology commercialization projects because we understand that this will provide new opportunities for jobs and economic growth,” said MP Boughen. “This project has strong potential to reduce water service connection replacement costs for municipalities and improve Canada’s competitive position in the global economy.”

“As our province’s population continues to increase, this new project has the potential to assist our growing communities in seeking an innovative and affordable solution to a greater municipal issue,” said Minister Ross.  “The resulting technology from this project will help keep down costs for many of our communities and their residents.”

Communities of Tomorrow led a consultation process with 13 Saskatchewan urban municipalities to identify needs for innovative approaches to municipal infrastructure activities. The most urgent need was replacing water service connections to residential customers.

A design team brought together by CT suggested a cage and winch design to pull replacement pipe through existing pipes. This method may eliminate substantial disruptive trenching on streets, sidewalks and customer property, and reduce costs for municipalities. If the technology is successful, CT will look for western Canadian firms to manufacture the product and, potentially, to provide service connection replacement services for communities that can’t afford to buy the equipment.

“The system, once perfected, could save cities up to 40% of the current cost of service connection replacement, which could result in savings in excess of $20 million for Saskatchewan municipal taxpayers on existing service connections. The system also has the potential to be commercialized right here in Saskatchewan for the world market,” commented John Lee, President of Communities of Tomorrow.

Communities of Tomorrow is a public-private partnership with the mission of making Saskatchewan a global leader in the field of innovative sustainable municipal infrastructure.

Both Canada and Saskatchewan are contributing $25 million each, over four years, to the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in western Canadian communities.