A federal grant may help the Municipality of West Nipissing complete a secondary water main loop in Sturgeon Falls. The money would also allow a second feed from the water treatment plant.
Funding is available from the green stream of the Investing Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), which is offering up “to five million dollars” from a $240 million pot to applicable projects, explained municipal engineer Alan Korell.
The grant is “only for drinking water” systems, he said.
In his report to council, Korell outlined possible plans to extend the water main from Cache Bay to Verner. Although this waterline extension is on the municipality’s drawing board, Korell explained that “the total cost is much higher than the maximum limit of the fund.”
Extending the water line to Verner will cost about $10 million, Korell estimates.
For Korell, the best use of the $5 million grant is to complete a second water main loop through Sturgeon Falls.
The funds, if awarded, would go toward completing a project that began over 40 years ago.
Korell explained how “In 1980 we made a brand new 16-inch water line all the way down Nipissing across the tracks by Michaud St., down Third St. all the way to the where the sewage plant is, back across the river and then all the way down to Ottawa Street.”
“But it was never finished,” Korell said. “So, what happens now is that if something goes wrong with the water main loop that also feeds Cache Bay, there’s essentially no way to fix it without closing the whole system down.”
He mentioned that in 1984, “we put a 14-inch waterline” under the bridges on John St. as well, “for the future.”
Completing this project would see “extending the water main to Ethel St. then down Ethel to King, King to John, and down John Street to Cache Bay Road, then to Ottawa Street.”
A new, secondary water main will improve the reliability of the service, “allowing two sources of water supply from the plant and tower,” and would “loop the entire water main trunk back to the water plant.”
Asked if this new system will help achieve the municipality’s goal to connect a water line to Verner, Korell told council the work will “make your chances a lot better.”
If the grant is approved, Korell estimates the work will take two years to complete.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca