Edmonton Faces Challenge for Sewer Repair

Currently, the City of Edmonton is also undergoing inspections of large diameter sewer pipes which has proven to be a rigorous, but much needed process. Crews, equipped with breathing apparatus and gas meters, and tethered to the surface, have to do their inspections in challenging circumstances.  Because the city has been growing so quickly, it has fallen behind on the sort of sewer inspections that were routine 20 years ago. The drainage department estimates it would take a cycle of about 8-1/2 years just to inspect all of its 606 km of large-diameter pipes once.

Business is thriving in Edmonton, the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Forecast to be one of the country’s fastest growing economies over the next four years, its boom is driven by expansive oil sands projects. But with an exploding population, outpacing the national growth rate, Edmonton’s demand for water also continues to rise. The concern for water supply and quality was a primary driver for the region’s substantial investment in a new wastewater membrane treatment plant. When the facility was commissioned, its main motivation was Suncor Energy’s Edmonton refinery and its need for more water. Located in the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the refinery at the time processed 135,000 barrels per day of crude oil into a wide range of consumer products. It was planning a major upgrade, switching to handle heavier crude mixtures. This meant the company was reconfiguring how the refinery worked and could explore better ways to use and reuse water, and reduce water consumption.


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