Greater Vernon Water is looking at its infrastructure. Water main breaks are ongoing concern.

Greater Vernon Water is looking at its infrastructure. Water main breaks are ongoing concern.

Greater Vernon Water plan targets leaky pipes

Aging infrastructure in need of upgrade; pipes, soils provide challenges

Water main breaks could be a never-ending battle, but the troops are ready for the fight.

Greater Vernon Water is currently in the midst of an infrastructure plan, with a primary focus being pipes in Vernon, Coldstream and the electoral areas.

“We have a lot of infrastructure to upgrade,” said Zee Marcolin, manager.

One of the reasons pipes have been failing recently in Vernon is their age, but the copper, iron and steel lines also face another challenge.

“We have a lot of corrosive soils,” said Marcolin, adding that the soil undermines the integrity of the pipes.

Many of the newer pipes are made out of PVC and are not impacted by soil conditions.

Beyond determining what needs to be replaced, the infrastructure plan will survey what’s working.

“We want to make sure we don’t replace pipes that don’t need it,” said Marcolin.

Any water infrastructure projects will also possibly be combined with road works by Vernon and Coldstream so roads are only dug up once.

“We want the best bang for our buck,” said Marcolin.