Canadian Underground Infrastructure Logo

Water & Sewer Construction

Toro introduces the Pro Sneak 365 vibratory plow

The Toro Pro Sneak 365 Vibratory Plow delivers powerful plowing in a compact, maneuverable package perfect for installing drip irrigation lines, electrical cable or other utilities in tight spaces. Utility contractors appreciate the narrow tire configuration of the Pro Sneak, which spans 36” in width, allowing for passage through gates, or other obstacles. Also available on the new Pro Sneak 365 is the dual-tire option for increased traction in challenging ground conditions.

Ultrafine from US Grout and Avanti - cementitious grout certified by NSF for potable water use

2015 was a game changer for the grouting industry, US Grout, LLC and Avanti International. As of this year, US Grout's Ultrafine SD and Ultrafine ND Cementitious Grouts - solely distributed by Avanti - are now certified by NSF International as conforming to the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 - Drinking Water System Components - Health Effects. In other words, Ultrafine SD and ND are certified for use in contact with potable water. Since the early 1940s, NSF International has developed standards, tests and certified products and systems to protect and improve global human health. For engineers and contractors, this is a differentiator.

Waterloo biofilm battle

In Canada, the quality of drinking water that flows from the taps of most households is for the most part taken for granted. While the country has pockets of populations with water quality concerns, Canadians generally regard their drinking water not only as safe, but of a higher quality than other developed nations.

Innovative approach to sanitary sewer cleaning

Civil engineers could be looking at London as a template for hard-to-access sewer cleaning jobs. The Ontario municipality recently installed three specialized manholes with sealed access flanges into one of its longest and oldest sewers in order to clean the pipe, after a camera probe two years ago identified it as being partially filled with solids and grit that would eventually restrict flows.

Turbidity problem addressed

In Dieppe, New Brunswick, complaints about the quality of drinking water running through a decades-old water main had city engineers scratching their heads for a solution that wouldn’t create too much disruption for residents.

North Vancouver pipe burst requires careful planning

One of the most effective ways of replacing a pipe using trenchless technology is pipe bursting, which replaces a traditional construction trench with launching and receiving pits that pull the new pipe through the existing one, breaking the old pipe into fragments that stay in the ground in-situ.+

Lead pipes still a problem in Canada

The shocking story of lead contamination in Flint, Michigan may seem like a one-off situation that most of us living in modern housing don’t need to worry about. But after reading with horror and sadness all the coverage of how officials in Flint failed to protect thousands of mostly poor Americans, including children, from ingesting dangerous levels of lead that leached from corroded water pipes, I decided to look at the situation north of the border. (Flint is only a two-hour drive from London, ON) The conclusion? While the lead pipe problem in Canada isn’t as dire as in Flint, admittedly an extreme example, neither should we turn a blind eye to it, because thousands of Canadians (the exact number is impossible to pinpoint) may also be unknowingly drinking lead-contaminated water because they live in older homes where lead pipes and fittings were commonly installed.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Inspection Crawler System

For pipe diameters 6 to 12 inches using the inline version or 12 inches and greater for the parallel chassis, the Versatrax 150 Mark II is capable of penetrating as far as one kilometre in a single deployment, more than 540 metres further than the standard Versatrax 150 pipe inspection vehicle.

Toro Introduces Additional Options for Riding Trencher Product Line

The Toro Company has announced a number of new attachments now available for its versatile and productive line of riding trenchers. The three new attachments include a direct drive trencher (available on the RT600), a combo mount system (available on both the RT600 and RT1200), and a sliding offset feature (available on both the RT600 and RT1200).

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

New Ring-O-Matic Pull-Behind Jet/Vac Combo On Display at ICUEE

The Ring-O-Matic 550 Dual Pump Combination Sewer Line Jetter and Vacuum Excavator gives contractors and municipalities the advantages of a dedicated, combination jetter/vacuum truck in the more versatile footprint of a compact trailer unit. Compared to PTO-driven, truck-mounted models, the Ring-O-Matic 550’s low initial investment cost and lower operational costs have made owning a combination jetter/vacuum machine affordable even for those who do not need jetting and/or vacuum excavation services on a daily basis.

Trench Shields Provide Protection

Shoring is the act of applying pressure back upon the earth, as a way to prevent the sides of an excavation from collapsing. This can be done by using shoring systems (hydraulic vertical shores, hydraulic walls, hydraulic manhole braces, slide rail, etc.). Shielding is a passive system. Whereas shoring is designed to prevent the collapse of an excavation, shielding is designed to protect workers in the event of an excavation collapse. Shielding can be done in a variety of ways, from static steel and aluminum to trench shields, to modular aluminum trench shields.

Multi-year infiltration leak stopped in one hour with Prime Flex 920

One hour and 30 litres of a hydrophobic polyurethane grout is what it took to stop a gushing water infiltration into Kingston, Ontario’s sanitary sewer system. Kingston sits at the mouth of the Cataraqui River where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Much of the city sits on limestone bedrock that must be channeled to install water, sewer and service lines. The leaking manhole was located on a sanitary sewer mainline that crosses a swamp, and the manhole was acting as a drain. How major was the problem? The city had a leak in a manhole of a sanitary sewer line where a 25-cm pipe came into the manhole at the bottom of the bench. Water was flowing around a pipe union at the rate of about 23 litres per minute, according to estimates from Utilities Kingston. That translates into some 12 million litres of infiltration a year, and the leak was active for seven or eight years.

Kelowna is first municipality in Canada to train crews on fusible PVC pipe

Wayne Nadasde, Kelowna’s construction supervisor, believes in keeping his crew current with the latest equipment and training. “I have a versatile crew and they are willing to learn. I put a lot of focus on training, and maintain an attitude that if I can’t learn something new every day, then I need to retire. I don’t have an endless training budget, so I look for quality training that fills a purpose.”

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Sewer relocation over rail right-of-way poses construction challenges

The City of Edmonton was required to relocate over 300 metres of existing 250 mm sanitary sewer that crosses a CN Rail right-of-way to allow installation of new rail bridge abutment foundations. The new abutments were required to extend the span of two existing rail bridges over Highway 16 to make room for a new on-ramp to be constructed under the Province of Alberta’s Northeast Anthony Henday Drive (NEAHD). The NEAHD is part of a major ring road around the city to provide much-needed capacity to Northern Alberta’s highway network; the Gateway to the North. Much of the Anthony Henday Drive has been completed, with the exception of the northeast stretch.

$36-million sewer upgrade is a microtunnelling first for Calgary

A city’s growth is often limited by the services needed to handle the extra population that puts higher demands on existing infrastructure. That is certainly the case in Calgary, where development in the city’s northwest quadrant has been hindered due to constraints on current sewer facilities, which are considered inadequate to match increased development in that area.

Trenching in the Arctic

Think about what usually qualifies as a difficult underground project. Challenging soil conditions. Extreme weather. An isolated jobsite. Perhaps special environmental considerations.


Trencor mechanical drive trenchers, like the T1460, offer a range of benefits. The most significant of these is increased torque, as more than 90 percent of the engine horsepower can be delivered to the cutting tool for increased productivity. The cutting tool tends to break out larger pieces of material due to the slow-moving digging tooth and is designed for high volume trenching.


The Ditch Witch organization introduces the SK850 footings machine, which is designed to create trenches up to 16 inches (41 cm) wide and up to 36 inches (91 cm) deep for slab construction on residential and commercial jobsites. With its specialized, heavy-duty chain and Tier 4, 37-hp (27.6-kW) diesel engine, the SK850 footings machine creates cleaner, more consistent trenches than an excavator can, and in less time. The machine is more compact than an excavator, so it can be more productive in tight jobsites. Plus, it can trench from either a centreline or offset position, so the operator can dig right up to the backer board. With 43 inches (109 cm) of track on ground, the SK850 footings machine also has the stability to effectively cross-trench. 

New FXT60 Truck Vac

The Ditch Witch organization has introduced the FXT60 truck vacuum excavator, an exceptionally versatile machine with the power to perform a wide variety of cleanup tasks, even in difficult-to-access locations. The FXT60 is a powerful vacuum excavator available on a Class 6 or 7 single-axle or Class 8 tandem-axle truck. An FXT60 configured with a tandem rear-axle truck offers maximum payload and towing capacity. Built to handle heavy spoils while towing a trailer, a tandem rear-axle model can reduce equipment and fuel expenses.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more