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Dear Editor,

To use frozen water pipes as an example of ‘ageing infrastructure’ is not valid, in my view.

Humans have a lifespan which edges upwards towards 100 years, which makes it difficult for us to form a realistic perception of the changes in climate which have occurred over the 6 billion or so years since our planet was formed. Even the changes over a few thousand years since the last ice age are hard enough to comprehend. There are immense forces  – or more correctly energy transfers – at work in the universe, with a vast number if interactions.

This last winter has seen exceptionally low temperatures in Meaford, so to blame the freezing of pipes on ‘ageing infrastructure’ is hardly a valid connection. Pipes do not generally freeze because they have ‘aged”, but because the temperature has dropped.

We are experiencing wider fluctuations in the weather and must expect them to continue – so what is to be done ?

Technology has possible answers:-  insulate the pipes, or bury them deeper to avoid freezing on winter, or, horror of horrors - keep them warm with electrical heat ! Of course none of the above are very practical, since the infrastructure is buried and it would cost a great deal to implement as well as causing great disruption.

Perhaps the building code will be changed for the future to address the problem, but for the existing water supplies I believe it will be the tried and trusted individual fixes that solve this freezing water pipe problem.

Nearer the surface, the roads are a different matter, so increased maintenance is inevitable – the use of better freeze-resistant road materials would be a better solution in the long run. Now that really is about “ageing infrastructure”.

Regards,

Anthony Sharp, Meaford


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