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Teck wins $2 million lawsuit over leaky water tanks

A judge has awarded Teck Metals nearly $2 million in damages in a suit brought against a company that designed and supplied leaky water treatment tanks for the Trail smelter.

According to the ruling, Teck claimed negligence, breach of contract, and breach of warranty by LSC Pre-Cast Systems Ltd., whom it hired to design and manufacture two pre-cast concrete bioreactor tanks. They alleged the tanks failed due to design defects.

In 2015, Teck started building a groundwater treatment plant, intended to remove trace amounts of ammonia and metals. LSC delivered the tanks that year and Hil-Tech Contracting was hired to install them based on LSC’s instructions.

During field reviews, LSC engineers discovered cracks and deficiencies, which they repaired by replacing two wall panels. But when the tanks were filled with water for testing the following year, they began to leak. LSC made recommendations for fixes, which Hil-Tech carried out.

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However, when the tanks were refilled, more leaks were discovered. Teck then hired another company, Read Jones Christofferson Ltd., to do a structural review. They concluded the tanks weren’t properly designed and didn’t meet building code requirements.

The company made further recommendations for repairs, which were carried out and the tanks no longer leaked. In 2017, Teck demanded to be reimbursed by LSC, but they did not do so, leading to the lawsuit.

Teck sought a total of $1.98 million, including costs for inspecting and repairing the tanks, and the judge agreed. LSC did not defend itself in court.

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