A new slide in the Williams Lake river valley below Frizzi Road as seen Wednesday, March 31, has severed a storm water line. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

City of Williams Lake awaiting engineer reports on new slide in the river valley

Discovered Monday, March 29, the slide severed a stormwater line below Frizzi Road

A new slide in the Williams Lake river valley has severed a stormwater line and made a sanitary sewer line vulnerable.

“Yesterday about 4:30 we got word that we had a slough again in the Frizzi Road area between Bednarzs’ property and the Green Acre Trailer Park,” said the city’s chief administrative officer Gary Muraca during an update to city council at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting.

The slide is in the area of an easement for storm and sanitary pipes, he added.

So far the storm line has been severed off and water is pouring out of it, but it’s the sanitary sewer line the city is especially worried about because it carries untreated sewage from the Glendale and North Mackenzie areas.

“It is substantial,” Muraca said of the sanitary sewer line. “It is a 15-inch line and right now everything looks great, but we do have to be concerned and have notified all relative agencies.”

A geotechnical engineer and civil engineer inspected the site Tuesday and the city is awaiting a report.

On Tuesday the city also activated its emergency operation centre (EOC) at a level two in response to the slide, and EOC director Erick Peterson confirmed in a new release that no properties were currently at risk.

Read more: Williams Lake activates Emergency Operations Centre in response to small landslide

With storm water draining onto the bank it is compromising the ground and everything above it, including the road and railway tracks, Muraca said.

“We wouldn’t feel comfortable having any staff or equipment in that area based on what’s happening right now,” he told city council. “We have frost in the ground and right now we had some freezing temperatures so it is stable but as the frost starts coming out of the ground it’s going to be a problem.”

He said the storm water comes from the drains on Frizzi Road and it is a small catchment area, so at this point it is just trickling out.

Crews will try to capture that storm water by doing some overland pumping and remove it away from Frizzi Road so it won’t saturate the industrial properties in the vicinity.

Muraca said the city has put in an application to Emergency Management B.C. for some funding for the slide area.

Read more: $7.6 million expected price tag for Williams Lake river valley flood recovery projects


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