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District replacing old water and sewer lines

Up to 75 per cent of the town’s ‘below ground’ infrastructure has been updated
A Bree Contracting crew works to fill in the hole dug on Fifth Street by the South Cariboo Business Centre last summer. The work was done as part of the District of 100 Mile House’s water main upgrade which installed a new line between Birch Avenue along Fifth Street up to Cedar Avenue. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The District of 100 Mile House has completed 75 per cent of its upgrades to its water and sewer lines.

Mayor Maureen Pinkney said the work has been a top priority for council over the past five years, following a report in 2017 from TRUE Engineering. TRUE had used a CCTV camera to examine the 25 kilometers of sewer lines and found much of the infrastructure was in need of replacement.

Between 2019 and 2022, council spent $11 million to upgrade and replace most of its infrastructure. This included adding a second water main to the town.

“Most people had no idea we had only one main line providing water to all of the town,” Pinkney said. “So if that main line, which was 70 years old, had broken all of town would be out of water.”

She noted 100 Mile House’s pipes vary in quality. Some were built to last for decades but others are less durable because they had to use what was available at the time.

The District is still finalizing its budget for its next five-year plan but replacing the water main on Alder Avenue will be a top priority, Pinkney said. During a cold snap in December, one of the water pipes on Alder Avenue broke, leaving seven properties without water just days before Christmas. This new infrastructure should cost around $10 million.

Pinkney said the water and sewage line work will be done during the District’s planned replacement of the Horse Lake Road Bridge. This project will cost around $5 million and will include the repaving of Horse Lake Road up to Highway 97. She said they’re waiting on the completion of an archeology study before going ahead.

“Luckily there are government grants that help pay for that, it’s not all on us. We always look to the province and the federal government to kick in their share,” Pinkney said. “Our town is very financially secure so if we’re well-planned we can stretch our dollar further.”

The District’s new five-year plan will be finalized at the next council meeting on Feb. 14.

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Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

Originally from Georgetown, PEI, Patrick Davies has spent the bulk of his life in Edmonton, Alberta.
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