Sewer & Water
Brunner’s Construction specializes in sewer and water replacement services in the Saskatoon area. Utilizing a trenchless system that was specifically designed for local conditions, Brunner’s Construction can quickly and expertly repair and replace damaged sewers – residential and commercial
To help minimize damage to the surrounding environment, Brunner’s Construction replaces existing pipes using a pipe bursting technique. This method bursts the old pipe and turns it into the path for the new pipe being installed. Pipe bursting creates less disturbance to the area, as it utilizes smaller holes. However, in conditions where pipe bursting will not work, a trench may need to be dug the length of the sewer line.
The City of Saskatoon provides Brunner’s Construction with the homeowner’s information, as well as the priority of the replacement. In preparation for the job, Brunner’s Construction will arrange for the location of all underground utilities. Brunner’s project manager will also meet with the homeowner to discuss the scope of the job, confirm the specifics of the location and answer any questions. The job is then placed into the queue based on priority.
During the initial meeting with the project manager, the homeowner will be required to sign a deferral form, which allows the cost of the sewer replacement project to be deferred to the homeowner’s property taxes. Brunner’s Construction must approve any alternative payment requests before the job begins.
What Homeowners Can Expect
On the day of the job, Brunner’s Construction will typically arrive between 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. At that time, the workers will need access to the house to locate the sewer connection. Sewer replacement jobs are usually completed by 6 p.m., but sometimes unforeseen circumstances (e.g. difficulties removing old sewer pipe, poor soil conditions, etc.) delay the completion of the project, potentially to the following day. However, a delay of that length is extremely rare.
During the course of the day, homeowners can expect dust, dirt, noise and no water service for approximately six hours, but that is not always necessary for a sewer replacement. As well, there will be no sewer service from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. This includes:
- No running water down the drain
- No flushing toilets
- No showers
- No draining bathtubs
- No use of washing machines
- No use of dishwashers
Any use of the sewer during this time will make the job more difficult and delay its completion. The Brunner’s crew will notify homeowners when they are able to use the water and sewer service.
In the case of a water line replacement, the water main will need to be shut down and a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory will be issued. If you have any questions about this process, please call the City of Saskatoon at (306) 975-2476.
During the winter months, homeowners may be asked to leave a cold-water tap running to ensure the water line does not freeze.
The Replacement Process
There are two different ways to complete the replacement – inside or outside the house – which can vary from job to job. If the water line for the house is not made of copper or plastic, it will need to be replaced at the same time as the sewer. In that case, work will need to be done inside the house. Other conditions may require the sewer to be replaced from outside the house. In some cases, the homeowner will have the choice of whether it is completed inside or outside. This can be discussed with the project manager at the initial meeting.
The foundation excavation required inside a house is approximately 2 feet by 2 feet, but this can be larger depending on the depth of the excavation. For exterior replacements, a hole is required at the foundation of the house (approximately 4 feet by 10 feet), along with a large area for the excavated soil. In the case of a sewer replacement, two holes are required – one at the foundation and one in the street. For a water replacement or a combination water/sewer replacement, a third excavation will be required (on city property near the property line).
Once the excavations are complete, steel rods are pushed through the existing sewer pipe from the hole in the street to the foundation of the house. A steel plug (approximately the size of a football) is then attached to the steel rods and pulled back through the existing pipe using a hydraulic pipe-bursting machine. The plug bursts the pipe outwards, creating a tunnel for the new pipes (100 mm DR28 PVC sewer line/25 mm DR9 HDPE water line). They are connected at the house, as well as to the new fittings installed on the city water and sewer mains. When the water line is replaced, a valve (curb stop), curb box and rod are installed in the hole on the property line. Once all the pipes and fittings are installed, the holes are filled and the job site is cleared of excess soil. Some excess soil will remain on excavations to allow for settling.
Brunner’s Construction will strive to minimize damage to the yard. Due to the weight of the excavator, however, homeowners should expect indentations, divots and grass/landscape damage. Brunner’s Construction makes no guarantees regarding the size of the excavation required for the job, as there may be uncertainty with subsurface conditions and existing buried objects (e.g. rocks, concrete). In rare circumstances, it may be necessary to excavate the yard from the house to the curb. Please note that homeowners are responsible for all restoration to their yards.
When the Job is Done
Once the job is complete, the homeowner can expect some settlement in the outside foundation excavation, as well as the property line excavation. To help with settlement, some people water the area with a soaker hose. This must be done with caution, as overwatering may cause water to enter the basement. If the foundation excavation is inside the basement, Brunner’s Construction will patch the concrete floor before leaving the job site. Please note that Brunner’s Construction is not a professional concrete finishing firm and offers this service as a courtesy. Homeowners are welcome to hire their own concrete finishers if they are concerned with the quality of the concrete finishing work. Brunner’s Construction will leave the appropriate amount of room to accommodate the concrete.
Sidewalk, boulevard and road repair will be completed by the City of Saskatoon. If you have any questions regarding these repairs, please contact the City at (306) 975-2476 or at the number supplied by your City representative.
If an existing water line is replaced, it may be necessary for the homeowner to hire an electrical contractor, as a ground is sometimes attached to the existing metal water service. Since the new line is plastic, it is necessary to install a new ground rod/plate. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to hire an electrician.
Due to the configuration of the existing plumbing, a licensed plumber may also be required to reconnect the waterline or reconnect the sewer line inside the home. Brunner’s Construction generally provides this service, but in some circumstances a plumber may be required. If the homeowner does not have access to a plumber, Brunner’s project manager can provide assistance.