The City of Moose Jaw will be replacing 3.3 kilometres of cast iron water main pipes in 2022, but it is coming in at a higher price tag than expected.  

During city council’s meeting on April 11, council unanimously agreed to transfer $800,000 from other accounts to make up for the shortfall in funding for the project.  

“This year we are facing some additional costs in terms of inflationary pressures,” said Director of Financial Services Brian Acker.   

“I think everybody is aware that inflation is much higher than anyone anticipated, so that is part of the reason for costs coming in higher. But yeah, we do try to adjust each year for inflation. It's just the initial program, overall, we did not build in an inflation factor.”  

About $400,000 will be transferred from the WW1 Water Distribution account, which was earmarked for low-pressure lines and dead-end water lines, many of which are being resolved through the cast iron water main project.  

The additional $400,000 will be coming from the WW16 Buffalo Pound Transmission Line account to remove a decommissioned water line. That project will be pushed back to 2023.  

Coun. Doug Blanc was in favour of adding the extra funding as he felt the project can’t afford to be delayed.  

“We have 840,000 meters of cast iron to do if my calculation is correct. If we’re not counting this year, counting the last number of years, it can take us 28 years to complete it. So, I think we have to carry forward and I think we have to do this,” Blanc said.  

Approximately 18.5 kilometres of cast iron water pipes will have been replaced in total by the end of 2022 out of 84 kilometres of cast iron pipes that were in the system at the start of the program.  

The locations for this year’s cast iron water main replacement program were also shared with city council.  

Concerns were raised about 1,000 metres of cast iron pipes being replaced along First Avenue Northwest from Caribou Street to Laurier Street.  

As one of the busiest streets in Moose Jaw and near Central Collegiate, councillors were concerned about how long the road would need to be closed.  

Director of Engineering Bevan Harlton said the first mitigating factor is they will try to have it closed in the summer outside of the school calendar. Secondly, he estimated that construction can take six to eight weeks per block.  

“It doesn't mean that work can't be happening at adjacent blocks and blocks behind. I don't want to give the impression that if it's 10 blocks, it's going to be 60 to 80 weeks, but again, the best mitigation we have, I believe, is to ensure that roads are sealed up behind the contractor as undergrounds are completed,” Harlton said.   

You can find a list of all the locations that will be a part of the cast iron water main replacement project this year here