The City of Estevan expects construction on its water tower to be completed this summer, despite a recent hurdle.
Beams that had deteriorated were discovered while crews were sandblasting the interior of the structure. Council voted to proceed with their repair immediately, rather than paying more down the road to set up scaffolding again or coughing up millions to scrap the tower and expand the Smith Street reservoir.
The City was told work would need to be completed within five years.
"That's what they put on a rough timeline about it," said City of Estevan Water and Wastewater Manager Shane Bucsis. "The thing about that is, if anyone drives by the water tower you'll see the huge amount of scaffolding, the inside of the water tower is all scaffold to get to that height. And just to do that remobilization would be $600,000 base. So since the scaffolding is already set up, we don't have to pay that."
Bucsis said most of the piping has been replaced, and that work has been going pretty well.
"They're going to move to sandblasting inside the pipe that goes up. Then they'll start on the welding work to the beams."
Crews had to patch around 250 holes in the bottom bowl after sandblasting it. Bucsis said this was expected, due to the tower's age (it was erected in 1956).
The City doesn't expect to face deterioration problems in the future like they're dealing with now, thanks to switching water supplies in 2020.
"Before when we were on Boundary Dam water, it was a lot more corrosive and a lot [harder], as everyone notices," Bucsis said. "Since we switched over to Rafferty, our water quality has actually improved really substantially. The deterioration that we saw shouldn't happen in the future."
He added that the change is also going to be good for the City's piping infrastructure.
Bucsis said the water tower's rehabilitation should be completed by July.
The only time residents should expect to see a decrease in water pressure is if the Swpower goes out.
"Then the city is held by Wellock, because it has a backup generator there," said Bucsis. "But as soon as we have power, or it's going to be prolonged, we'll turn on the water plant. If people don't have water, it's only for short periods of time."