In his column on June 15, Don Braid asks, “In the 1970s, when our water main was installed, was there a pipe built in the 1860s that proved such a thing could last a century?”

 The aqueduct feeding the Trevi Fountain has been in operation for over a thousand years. A more recent example is the Winnipeg Aqueduct, in operation for 105 years to date. Both operate at low pressures and with very regular inspection and maintenance.


The issue here is not the time frame, but rather the fit for purpose of design and materials, redundancy in critical systems, and what appears to be a low level of inspection and maintenance.


Maybe the City needs to focus again on its core services: water, sewer, power, gas, roads, garbage, transit, and our outdoor spaces.


Gary Bunio, Calgary

Opportunity to review procedures

While the work crews and all related personnel continue to replace and repair the burst waterline, we should not ignore the opportunity to learn from this unfortunate event. The whole process should be objectively analyzed: examine all possible causes for the failure as well as components of the line including manufacturing and inspections during the production process; installation procedures and protocols: and the design and specifications compared with other jurisdictions.

Examine the communication process and responsibilities throughout this crisis. This should include whether the personnel responsible for examining the problem, material sourcing should have been regularly allowed to participate in the briefings. It is essential at times of crisis that management be given authority to make timely and immediate decisions to resolve problems. Could this be improved on?

The city already has done great work in specific areas of crisis management. As an aside, the reconstruction of the Saddledome and the repair and reconstruction of the Stampede grounds are two of the best examples of crisis management at the city level.

Art Froese, Calgary

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