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Faulty valve increases Chase River pump station upgrade project to $2.6 million

RDN board approves project budget increase of close to $500,000
Regional District of Nanaimo directors voted to increase the budget of the Chase River pump station upgrade project by close to $500,000 at their Sept. 27 board meeting. (News Bulletin file photo)

An unexpected malfunction will see the price tag of Chase River pump station upgrades increase to $2.6 million, according to the Regional District of Nanaimo.

The RDN awarded a contract of close to $900,000 this past spring to CanWest Mechanical Inc. for pipe replacement and work on electrical and pump support systems at the raw sewage processing facility in south Nanaimo. However, a malfunctioning isolation gate, or valve, on a sewer line was detected and RDN directors voted to increase the project budget by $489,000 at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The valve, according to an RDN staff report, “would not isolate flow once pressure builds up from the incoming sewer flow” and “cannot be fully pressurized without a bypass pumping system and thus the failure cannot be identified earlier.”

To remedy this, plans were developed to bypass pumps so workers can conduct repairs. “However, gaining access and isolating the incoming sewers further upstream is complex and includes the construction of an access roadway to allow for additional pumping equipment to be deployed,” the report noted.

Additionally, there are time concerns as the RDN wants work to be complete before the winter, as flows are expected to increase at that time.

In an e-mail, Duncan Taylor, RDN manager of engineering services, said construction management and purchase of equipment make up the balance of the total budget.

“This additional increase is for unplanned work identified in the contract that resulted in delay costs, additional bypass pumping costs and costs associated with repairing [the valve] in a chamber 30 feet deep,” said Taylor.

A majority of the work on the project is still anticipated to be complete by the end of September, the report said.

RELATED: RDN spends $888K for sewage treatment upgrades in Nanaimo

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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