Permanent natural gas service to be restored to some homeowners in Nutana
Some residents in the Nutana neighbourhood who are still waiting for their permanent natural gas service to be restored after a chunk of Saskatoon’s riverbank collapsed in June will finally be able to take a hot shower without having to plug into a mobile utility trailer.
The news comes after SaskEnergy received the go-ahead from an independent geotechnical engineering firm that they can begin excavating early next week to move gas lines, said Dave Burdeniuk, director of government and media relations at the utility company.
“The engineers and the geotechnical information are telling us that it is safe for us to begin digging,” said Burdeniuk, adding that lines will be moved from the back of homes to the front.
Currently, residents in the area are using two mobile natural gas trailers parked along Saskatchewan Crescent East and 11th Street East.
A “handful” of residents, however, will still be relying on the trailers, said Burdeniuk.
There are a few “specialized cases” that engineers will have to look at independently to find a creative solution, explained Burdeniuk.
So far SaskEnergy has expended close to $50,000 assessing the situation and providing temporary service.
Burdeniuk said although SaskEnergy will explore all possibilities to restore service to the specialized cases, there is the possibility that these homeowners will have to find another fuel option.
Mobile gas trailers are not built to handle the heating load generated during the winter months so these residences may have to switch to propane or electric heat, he said.
Burdeniuk said this cost would be footed by homeowners as the “soil challenges in that area are nothing that was caused by SaskEnergy.”
In June, Saskatoon’s general manager of infrastructural services told reporters the cause of the collapse was likely natural.
All of the slopes on the South Saskatchewan River are unstable,” explained Gutek. The cause of the slump “is what it’s always been for thousands of years.”
Despite the initial assessment, however, the city has commissioned their own firm to provide recommendations to fix the riverbank and what to do with the uprooted gas and power lines.
They will pay $138,700 to Golder Associates who has been monitoring the slope movement in the area.