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.”
Nadasde oversees a unique construction program in the City of Kelowna, British Columbia. When he began, like most cities, construction was running silo-style with divisions for water, sewage, drainage, etc. with differing in-house regulations and standards for each division. He had a different vision and helped make changes so that his crews run now as if they work for a successful construction company meeting the standards and expectations of the consultant/contractor community.
“We still tender work, but we do a portion of it ourselves every year. We function just like a contractor and our crews do it all: utilities, power, communications, cable, traffic systems, water, sewer, drainage, road works, curbs, sidewalks – property line to property line. We typically take on the projects that are very sensitive in terms of customer service, where construction causes a lot of closures, or water or power shut-downs. As city employees, our people are very sensitive to the public. We also tackle projects where an outside contractor might have to carry a lot of liability. We assume all the risk and do the project ourselves.”
This forward-thinking attitude led to Nadasde’s decision to have his crews trained to fuse PVC pipes, making Kelowna the first municipality in Canada to train crews in fusible PVC. IPEX technical sales representative Rob Mellander explains that this was a natural next step for the City of Kelowna. “They currently do their own HDPE fusing, and because of the ever-changing market, they want to stay on top of new products and ways to do things.” Though there are no fusible PVC projects in the immediate future for Kelowna, this product has successfully been installed at a creek crossing in Salmon Arm, B.C., watermain replacement along an existing highway in Coldstream, near Vernon, and a new install under an existing golf course while the course was in full operation in Armstrong to supply a new subdivision surrounding the golf course.
Rodney Johnston, technical field representative for Western Canada, is responsible for fusible PVC training for Western Canada. “At the IPEX facility in Edmonton, we have a new training/fusion room with two fusion machines, one large and one small, located in our new QC lab. People usually come here for training and recertification. Wayne [Nadasde] had his own fusion machines and also the space for training, so I took the training course to him.” The training combines both theory and hands-on experience. “We spend, maybe, a couple of hours on the theory side, and then the rest of it is practical – getting on the machines and fusing the pipe. I’m a hands-on kind of person myself. I learn by doing, so the people I train spend a lot of time fusing.”
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