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Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Potable water and stormwater assets

Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Potable water and stormwater assets

Statistics Canada, in partnership with Infrastructure Canada, has launched a catalogue of the state of the nation's infrastructure to provide statistical information on the stock, condition, performance and asset management strategies of Canada's core public infrastructure assets. This third release presents findings on potable water assets and stormwater assets.

Key Findings:

Municipalities own over three-quarters of every type of potable water asset

  • Among non-linear potable water assets, municipalities owned 85.3 percent of water pump stations, 83.9 percent of storage tanks, 82.9 percent of water treatment facilities and 79.0 percent of water reservoirs.
  • Urban municipalities owned over one-half of municipally-owned storage tanks (54.4 percent) and water pump stations (52.3 percent) and about two-fifths of water reservoirs (40.5 percent) and water treatment facilities (39.5 percent), their share among linear assets was much higher (84.4 percent for transmission pipes and 74.5 percent for local water pipes).

Most potable water assets are reported to be in good or very good condition

  • Water treatment facilities (76.8 percent) and storage tanks (75.9 percent) were the asset types most often reported to be in good or very good physical condition.
  • For most potable water asset types, between two-thirds and three-quarters of assets were built prior to 2000.
  • Transmission pipes built in 2016 were expected to have an average useful life of 74 years, the longest among all publicly-owned potable water assets, followed by local water pipes (68 years) and storage tanks (63 years).

However, almost two-thirds (63.7 percent) of potable water asset owners issued no drinking water advisories in 2016.

  • About one-tenth (9.9 percent) of potable water asset owners issued one drinking water advisory, while almost one-fifth (17.5 percent) issued between two and five advisories, and 8.4 percent of owners issued six or more advisories in 2016.

Over 90% of stormwater assets are owned by municipalities.

  • Approximately one-third of stormwater management facilities were built before 1999.
  • Almost two-thirds of stormwater drainage pump stations were built before 1999.
  • From half to two-thirds of most types of stormwater assets were reported to be in good or very good physical condition.

Most owners do not have an asset management plan for potable water and stormwater assets

  • Less than half (43.4 percent) of owners reported having an asset management plan for potable water assets, where just over one-third (34.3 percent) of stormwater asset owners reported having an asset management plan.
  • Among those currently without a plan, approximately two-fifths of owners intended to have one within four years.
  • Almost one-quarter of potable water asset owners without an asset management plan (22.7 percent) did not intend to implement one, whereas one-sixth of stormwater asset owners (16.3 percent) did not intend to implement an asset management plan.

Consistent with the key findings of the survey, most provincial jurisdictions have outlined requirements for municipalities to implement an asset management plan in order to receive federal gas tax funding.  A typical asset management plan includes a comprehensive state of the infrastructure report, a level of service section, an asset management strategy, and a financial strategy to bridge the infrastructure deficit over the medium and long-term. Contact us here to learn how PSD can assist with the development and implementation of an effective asset management plan and ensure that your municipality can meet provincial requirements to receive funding.

The full release from Statistics Canada can be found here.