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Wakefield lift station replacement delay

Wakefield lift station replacement delay

Despite budgeting in 2020 to replace the failure-prone Wakefield Road wastewater effluent lift station, the District of Sechelt has delayed this project until at least next year.
The work is being delayed pending decisions on grants from the Green Infrastructure Funding for Small Communities and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The District has applied for both. Announcements on successful applications have not been made due to complications brought on by COVID-19.
In a press release dated March 18, the District stated it had included $870,750 to replace the station in its 2020 budget. These were funds from District sources, so the replacement would not depend on having a grant approved.
The grant application is for 73.3 percent of the project costs. Sechelt Communications Manager Julie Rogers said that the grant awards wouldn’t be announced until spring 2021. “If we start on the construction prior to the grant being awarded, this project will not be eligible for the grant,” said Rogers.
Upgrading the station was cited as a council priority in this year’s budget after it failed and spilled sewage onto its Salish Sea foreshore location in November 2018 and again in March 2020. An estimated 5,300 litres of effluent spilled in the most recent case, and between 500-700 litres discharged in the 2018 incident.
Both recent failures occurred in conjunction with wet season storms. Much of the equipment at the site has been there since the station was commissioned in 1993. The location has a diesel generator backup to keep the pumps operating during BC Hydro power outages. Plans are to increase the capacity of the station when the replacement is completed.
When asked by the Local about plans for safe operation of the site during the coming winter season, Rogers said, “the lift station has been inspected and is monitored frequently. We have taken steps to ensure the lift station will be operating as required for the next several months. We are confident we will be able to manage any issues that arise.”
According to Rogers, all Sechelt’s lift stations are inspected daily Monday to Friday with Wakefield also inspected on weekends. The additional inspections at that site are performed on the wet well to check for grease and rag buildup. Accumulations of wipes and rags in sewer equipment have increased significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Improvements to the electrical components and security alarms were also completed in the last year.
The Wakefield Road site is one of nine sewer lift stations operated by the District. Along with one located at Norwest Bay Road, it serves the growing residential neighbourhood of West
Sechelt Connie Jordison

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