Your tax dollars

By Jack Elliott
Rainy River Correspondend

We all like to grouse about taxes. “What are they blowing money on that for? Spend! Spend! Spend! What are they ripping up that road for? Didn’t they just fix that watermain last winter?”

Sound familiar?

Well take a look at this water pipe and consider. That is not a sewer pipe. It is an old water system pipe. It is made of ductile iron and the crud inside it is corrosion. Rust! It has been building up for about a century or better. It is typical of many of our old municipal water systems. When you turn on your tap for a glass of drinking water, this could be the pipe delivering it to your house.

Not only is it plugged to the point that flow is severely restricted, it has lots of holes and leaks. The walls are so corroded that its strength is compromised and is the reason why every winter we have watermain ruptures.

So we have a choice. Spend a fortune trying to patch worn out pipes… patches that will fail again and again.. and leave us with a worn out system that is junk. Patching old pipes is sort of like putting new tires on an old car just before you send it to the wrecker.

The more sane approach is to invest in new infrastructure which is what has been happening in Rainy River over the last decade. The current project on 2nd St and the one on 3rd St scheduled for next year nearly completes the last major upgrades on the Town of Rainy River system.

Carlo Cantera, Project Supervisor from Kenora has been working on such projects across Northwestern Ontario since 1981, including the last four in Rainy River. Recently he showed me what was being done on 2nd St.

The old 6” ductile iron main is replaced with a 10” PVC main with coated iron Tees that have anodes welded to them to prevent future corrosion. Saddles placed over the PVC pipe provide service connections that are run with flexible ¾” copper to a valve at the property line. From there it is hooked to the existing supply line to the house provided it is copper not lead. Again all the metal lines have anodes attached to prevent corrosion. Lead lines (they will poison you) cannot be connected explained Cantera

The obsolete Pratt & Cady Fire hydrants patented in the 1920s are replaced with McAvity M67 hydrants again using the anodized cast iron coated tees at the connection to the PVC watermain

The new waterline on 2nd St from River Ave to Broadway will be completed this week. It is then pressure tested and super-chlorinated and tested for bacterial contamination before being flushed. It is then tested again, flushed, and hooked into the water supply of the houses, said Cantera The final portion of the line replacement has to be delayed until 2022 because of cold weather onset.

The rest of the project including sanitary sewer and storm sewer lines, roadbed, and sidewalk replacement and ditching will be partially completed this fall with the balance including paving taking place in 2022.

Of the last four projects there has only been one failure… a connector at the bottom of 5th St failed and it was fixed under warranty

So Sidewalk Superintendents and Coffee Shop Critics take a good gander at what is being invested in your town’s infrastructure before you complain too loudly