Delegation of Local Water Supply and Sewer System Management, Diagnostic and Development of Action Plans to Rehabilitate and Repair Local Systems

Project description

The City of Westmount contracted Dessau to manage and operate the local water supply and sewer systems and maintain various elements such as fire hydrants and valves. The contract was divided into two components:

Component I

Component I covered basic services and included the following activities: complaint management, routine maintenance (fire hydrants, valves, etc.) and verification of water quality. In addition, Component I involved carrying out a variety of fee-based work, including repair or replacement of fire hydrants, repair of leaks, installation of new service connections, etc.

Component II

Component II involved development of an action plan for the water supply and sewer systems. The municipalities' objectives were to develop a profile of the condition of the assets, plan and provide a rationale for current and future capital requirements and standardize the mechanisms for analysis and decision making. By setting up an infrastructure management system, the cities could therefore develop a priority-based action plan for their water supply and sewer systems, respond effectively over the years and ensure the long life of their infrastructures while keeping costs down.

Complexity and key features

The project was very innovative, because it was the first time a contract had been awarded by a municipality in Quebec to delegate the management of water supply and sewer systems.

Services provided

The challenges and issues the firm faced in completing the two components were as follows:

  • Carry out a smooth transition from the contract award date of November 22, 2005 to handover on January 1, 2006 to ensure that service to the public was not affected
  • Properly understand the roles of each of the parties (City and firm) to be as effective as possible and avoid duplication that could mislead the public about the service provided
  • Clarify the boundaries of each party's involvement, particularly regarding communication with the public when addressing system issues (water main ruptures, sewer back-ups, etc.)
  • Ensure high-quality, continuous supply of drinking water to keep complaints and the risk of system contamination to a minimum
  • Plan routine maintenance of the systems to ensure a constant supply of high- quality water, with as few disruptions as possible for the public
  • Take appropriate action to keep water supply and sewer system components in top operating condition
  • Develop and implement a plan to respond to emergencies within prescribed timeframes
  • Propose low-cost solutions to improve quality of service to the public that would be charged to the City alone, in light of municipal and provincial budget constraints
  • Reduce loss of drinking water by focusing efforts of identifying and repairing leaks
  • Recommend a program to install cathodic protection on the water lines to stop deterioration of pipes

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