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Water Maintenance Programs

Watermain Programs

Cathodic Protection

Durham Region has been cathodically protecting its watermains since 1983. This proven method of controlling the effects of external corrosion on the water distribution system results in fewer watermain breaks, thus reducing maintenance operating costs. The process simply involves attaching magnesium anodes to the watermain. The anode will then corrode instead of the watermain to which it is connected to. The anode’s performance is monitored every 5 years. When they no longer continue to do their job of preserving the watermain, new anodes will be installed or the watermain may be replaced. The installation of anodes, that typically last 15 - 25 years, is much more attractive than the disruption that is caused on a street by replacing the watermain at a much higher cost.

Cement-Mortar Lining

Cement Mortar Lining is a method of rehabilitating older watermains that were constructed of cast iron (CI). This process removes the rust build-up on the inside of the watermain and then lines their internal surface with a thin layer of cement. This typically increases the effective life of the watermain by 30 - 50 years and results in improved hydraulic carrying capacity of the watermain which in turn improves the flow capacity. Lining also reduces instances of unpleasant tastes, offensive odours, and discolouration of the water. The rehabilitation method of Cement-Mortar Lining is an attractive and cost effective alternative to full replacement of the watermain.

Foam Swabbing

Foam swabbing and flushing watermains is a means of removing encrustation, debris, rust and other foreign objects from the distribution system to improve water quality and restore their carrying capacity. Swabbing entails inserting a polyurethane foam swab into an isolated section of watermain through a fire hydrant. The swab is then forced through the section and out another hydrant by the pressure differential in the watermain. As it passes through the watermain, the swab (which has a slightly greater diameter than the main) executes a scouring action on the debris adhering to the watermain.

Leak Detection

The leak detection program detects leaks on watermains, hydrants, valves and services using equipment that detects leak noises. Location and repair of leaks prior to possible extensive damage to private and/or public property can save money and prevent the potential for substantial water loss. The equipment comprises acoustic sensors, each with a preamplifier / radio transmitter, that detect noises on a pipe and transmits them to a correlator, which processes the signal to calculate their position.