Century-old Timmins sewer pipes need replacing, inspections underway

Some sewer pipes in Timmins are as old as the city itself -- dating back to when it was first founded in the early 1900s -- and they're reaching critical age for replacement.

The City of Timmins has been commissioning closed-circuit television camera inspections for its 185-kilometre sewer system to rate the condition of its pipes. Starting from oldest to newest, the city has inspected just under half of its system, relining pipes as it goes.

"(Sewer pipes) were initially installed by the Hollinger Mine, so some of that infrastructure is still in the ground and still operating," said the city's public works director and chief engineer, Pat Seguin.

"Probably 50 per cent of the piping network is at an age where it needs to be replaced."

Adding, "we've certainly got enough camera inspection, enough rating done, to be able to put a very good program together. And our program is very aggressive, we do about 13.5 kilometres of lining for sewers every year."

At the current rate of repair, Seguin said it would likely take 10 to 15 years to replace all of its older pipes, at a cost of about $1 million per 13 km of relined pipe.

After that, he said newer pipes will be cheaper to inspect, repair and maintain.

The city is commissioning a Port Perry firm to inspect another 13 km section of pipe at a cost of around $440,000.