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RDN spending $888,000 to upgrade south Nanaimo sewage treatment facility

Work planned this summer at Chase River pump station
The sewage pump station in south Nanaimo, in the Haliburton Street area. (News Bulletin file)

The facility that processes raw sewage in Nanaimo’s south end is slated to be modernized with a price tag of close to $900,000.

At a Regional District of Nanaimo meeting March 22, directors awarded a contract of $888,000 to CanWest Mechanical Inc. for upgrades at the pump station at Chase River.

According to an RDN staff report, the pump station facility, which receives wastewater from Nanaimo’s south end and directs it to a pump station at Departure Bay, is more than 40 years old and in need of new piping and electrical systems. Due to its functional nature, the station deals with gases and gravel which can corrode and erode components and based on current density, pipes need to be replaced, stated the report, as well as pump support systems. The station doesn’t have “substantial storage capacity, increasing the importance of reliable operation to prevent overflow,” the report said.

Work will include cleaning of the well and subsequent examination of the cement structure situated below wastewater level. Replacement of pipes, operator access platforms and support systems, including electrical motor control, are also included in the scope of work, stated the report.

Considerable planning and design work has already been conducted and work will require the station to be shut down for a month during the period of the year when flows are low.

In an e-mail, Duncan Taylor, RDN manager of engineering services and regional and community utilities, said the pump station is anticipated to be shut down from late July to early August and a bypass pumping system will be put in place to ensure there will be no service interruption.

“This is primarily a significant maintenance rebuild of the pump station,” said Taylor. “In addition, improvements to the process control system will provide more options to operators for efficient pump station control.”

CanWest Mechanical Inc. was one of three proponents that responded to a January tender from the RDN.

The board also approved a motion increasing the pump station project budget by $225,000, as an assurance for completion, and it will be reflected in the RDN’s five-year financial plan.

The RDN had to invest close to $200,000 in 2018 when leaks were discovered in a force main pipe from the Chase River station.

READ ALSO: RDN shells out $200K for pipe, pump station upgrade design

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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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