Sewer upgrades to begin in 2016

Certain areas of the city’s sewer system in the river valley could be prone to failure.

Certain areas of the city’s sewer system in the river valley could be prone to failure, said the city’s engineer technologist Jeff Bernardy in a report city council received at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Currently, the entire city sanitary sewer network converges into a single pipe that runs to the sewage treatment plant. If there were ever a failure or blockage in this pipe, there are no other means of bypassing or re-routing sewage.

After receiving the report, city council unanimously approved an application to the New Building Canada Fund-Small Communities Fund (NBCF-SCF), requesting funds to help cover the anticipated $3.2 million cost of installing a second parallel sewer pipe for backup.

Both the original and new pipes will be able to function and transfer sewage, the city noted in an e-mailed response.

The sewer trunk within the river valley runs from near Highway 20 to the sewage treatment plant with an approximate length of 4.5 kilometres.

Originally the sanitary trunk line was installed in phases, beginning early in the 1960s and completed by the late 1970s.

Staff is proposing the trunk be upgrade in seven different locations.

If the city successfully receives funds from the NBCF-SCF program,  its share of the cost would be approximately $1,066,666, which Bernardy noted will be taken from sewer reserves.

The work would take place in 2016.