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Water loss investigation ongoing in Didsbury

There's plans for an invasive investigation on Westwood Drive

DIDSBURY - Council has been given an update on a water loss reduction investigation undertaken by the engineering and infrastructure department at the request of council. 

The review came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on zoom.

Council had earlier passed two motions instructing administration to investigate water loss from the distribution network, prompting the subsequent examination by staff and a consultant.

“The department engaged a leak detection consultant and requested an investigation of high priority infrastructure and areas of interest,” chief administrative officer Ethan Gorner said in a briefing note to council.

Monitoring of the water distribution network using ground microphones and other techniques was undertaken between June and September.

“The consultant conducted observation of each fire hydrant and the isolation valve,” he said. “Several hydrants were noted to have concerns and the department is following up with additional investigation processes to confirm the scope of the work.

“The department also identified a number of hydrant valves which were not completely closed. The hydrants were fully exercised then closed with no further leaks noted.”

The department has modified standard operating procedures to mitigate the risk of unsealed valves, he said.

The consultant also examined mainline valves on 23rd Ave., 22nd Ave., and 21st Ave. east of 19th Street.

“The data did not support the presence of any leaks. Westwood Drive was investigated but resulted in inconclusive data,” he said.

He outlined the plans going forward, saying, “We plan to conduct an invasive investigation on Westwood Drive. The additional investigation will be done by installing groundwater monitoring wells adjacent to the potable waterline and at strategic locations.

“The monitoring wells will allow the department to draw water to the surface for testings. If we identify the presence of chlorine, there is a high probability of a leak in the vicinity and further investigation will ensue.”

Council accepted the update report as information.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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