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North Glengarry addresses I/I with Lifespan®

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It’s a situation that towns across Canada and the U.S. are facing with increasing frequency: yesterday’s infrastructure no longer supports today’s population.

Although system overcapacity was a known problem for the Township of North Glengarry, Ontario, the severity of the issue was starkly illustrated last summer when the town got hit with a “one-in-50-years” storm. In only an hour, North Glengarry and surrounding areas received a whopping 150 to 200 mm (6 to 8 inches) of rain, completely overwhelming the storm water system and causing sewer backups in nine residents’ homes.



Although only partially caused by manhole-related I/I – as Mayor Chris McDonell noted, no storm water system is built to handle that kind of deluge – the surcharge crisis was indicative of problems related to the town’s 50-to-60-year-old infrastructure.



In researching solutions for its I/I-related overcapacity problems, North Glengarry Water Works Manager Dean McDonald discovered the Lifespan System at an event hosted by the Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies at the University of Waterloo. Hamilton Kent’s Director of Sustainable Markets, Henry Flattery, was a featured presenter at the event, sharing the benefits of The Lifespan System®for addressing I/I.



Convinced that Lifespan could make a difference where other manhole systems had failed, McDonald contacted Flattery immediately following the seminar, ordering eight units for implementation over the next year.



“I immediately thought, ‘This is great!’” remembers McDonald. “The manholes we were using at the time were okay but once you opened them, they weren’t watertight anymore because the design wasn’t practical.



“Lifespan is one of a kind,” McDonald continues. “I’d never heard of frames built out of rubber, but they are working great – they’ve been holding up really well this winter. We’ve had zero issues.”



Four of the Lifespan units were designated for on-road use and four – to be installed in spring 2013 – were designated for off-road use near a very active creek. These are particularly critical units for controlling I/I, McDonald says, because the city neither wants the creek’s frequent overflows to contribute to the city’s overcapacity problems, nor for the overcapacity problems to cause contamination of the creek.



Thanks to its watertight design, Lifespan fit the bill perfectly, with the added benefit of being lightweight for easy carrying to the job site, and easy to install.



“The ease of installing them was a huge benefit,” McDonald says. “They’re so much easier to install because they are so lightweight. And when we have to open them up, it’s much easier to close them up. They are really user friendly and the operators are happy with them too.”