Liewicki leaks: Warm shower, tax hike needed

Nathan Liewicki
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Daily household activities like showering and washing dishes are often overlooked in much of Canada. When those tasks are not carried out due to a lack of water, people go berserk.

Liewicki

Ok, I go berserk.

On Wednesday morning I rolled out of my bed and proceeded to drop trou before entering the shower.

I turned the hot water knob to the left. Only a few drops escaped the showerhead. After scratching my head — as is part of my morning routine before showering — I tried the cold water knob. A couple more drops fell from the shower head, but it was far from a steady stream.

The bathroom sink faucet also failed to produce a rush of water from both the cold and hot water taps. My fortune didn’t improve when I sprang out of the bathroom and tried the kitchen sink taps.

There was no running water to be had at my residence and I was furious.

Maybe it was the fact that it was the first time this has happened to me since I moved to Moose Jaw last August, but in those few minutes, that thought didn’t enter my raging mind.

My frustration immediately turned toward the City of Moose Jaw and it’s beyond-aging cast iron water lines, some of which are in the neighbourhood of 100 years old.

I was not at Monday evening’s city council meeting, but thanks to the power of social media I was kept well informed about the circumstances surrounding cast iron water lines and water mains. It’s been an issue in our city for months, nay years.

A previous edition of Liewicki Leaks — Dec. 19 to be exact — examined a leaky pipe part of the east feeder line, which Coun. Brian Swanson referred to as the city’s No. 1 priority at city council on Monday.

I honestly don’t know if that is or should be the city’s top priority, but I agree with Swanson that our aging cast iron water lines — 40,000 metres of which are past their original life expectancy — need replacing. And fast.

Granted, repairing and upgrading the city’s cast iron water lines will be an extremely expensive initiative that has to be undertaken, but even at an estimated cost of $40 million the work needs to be completed.

City council, the engineering department and administration need to continue to understand that this is a big deal — at least to me — because it does not appear all parties involved believe that to be true.

However, unlike Coun. Don Mitchell, who stated Monday that municipalities are not capable of funding infrastructure alone, I believe otherwise.

It starts with increasing municipal taxes in the neighbourhood of five to seven per cent and ends with me enjoying a warm shower and cleaning all of my dirty dishes.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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