As soon as the frost thaws, ground will be broken for a 28-kilometre pipe to feed Ottawa water to nearby Russell township.
Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien and Russell Mayor Ken Hill signed the agreement yesterday at city hall that will see city water flowing to homes in Russell by October 2009.
The total cost of the project is $19 million. The federal government, the province and Russell are providing $4.5 million each, with developers expected to pick up the rest. The base cost of the project is to replace their existing water system and build a large enough pipeline to service Russell into the future.
“If we’re going to bury 28 kilometres of pipe, let’s make it big enough to last at least 20 years,” Hill said.
The town currently relies on ground water. And while they’re not experiencing supply or quality problems now, Hill said a steady water source was needed for long-term growth as Russell’s population of 15,000 grows to 24,000 by 2025.
The project will not cost Ottawa and O’Brien said increased demand on the city water system represents less that one per cent of current water consumption. O’Brien said areas like Richmond will have the option of connecting to the line in future.
“I think that will happen over time,” said O’Brien. “It will be a municipal decision and we will have to consider the costs involved.”