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Olds council approves another $400,000 to fight water loss

The extra money, which will come out of reserves, brings the total amount spent on water inflow and infiltration this year to $1.9 million and the total capital budget to $$5,447,331
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OLDS – Town council has approved spending another $400,000 on efforts to solve its costly water inflow and infiltration (I & I) problem.

That brings the total amount to be spent this year to $1.9 million and bumps the total capital budget up to $5,447,331.

Council approved the extra money during its May 27 meeting. It will come from Town reserves.

Back in late 2022, council was told the Town had averaged a 27 per cent loss of water since 2017.  

Chief administrative officer Brent told council that this year’s capital budget “largely consists of water loss and I & I mitigation efforts.”

He said the $1.5 million earmarked this year to tackle the problem has mostly been spent on investigative processes such as leak detection, CCTV inspections through sanitary sewer systems and water meter projects to track water consumption.

Williams said the additional $400,000 will be used to enhance work to reline sanitary sewer pipes and manholes.

“The additional funds will allow us to expand our sanitary manhole and main relining program to proactively address infiltration issues, enhance infrastructure resilience, and prevent costly future repairs,” a memo from administrative staff said.

“This investment is crucial for protecting public health, ensuring environmental safety, and supporting our community's growth and long-term sustainability.”

Williams also said a year-end report is anticipated that will likely outline at least 10 years of capital priorities that will have to be undertaken to tackle the water loss and inflow problems.

Coun. James Cummings asked corporate services and finance director Sheena Linderman if she could ever recall a time when administrative staff haven’t come forward with requests for additional capital dollars.

“No, it’s typical to have budget adjustments throughout the year. Yeah, I can’t recall if there’s been a year without (any),” she said.

“In my time there’s never been a year without,” mayor Judy Dahl said with a short laugh. “Good question, thank you, Coun. Cummings.”

Council passed a motion to grant the extra money.


Doug Collie

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