Crews drill and take samples from Interurban Road near Camosun College. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Sewer work will bring disruption to Interurban Rail Trail

Pipeline will connect Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point with Hartland Landfill in Saanich

A section of pipe carrying sludge as part of the regional wastewater treatment project will run underneath a trail in rural Saanich.

Mayor Richard Atwell said the yet-to-be-selected contractors will dig up a section of the Interurban Rail Trail to accommodate the pipeline connecting the proposed treatment plant at Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point with the future residual treatment facility at Saanich’s Hartland Landfill.

“We were also able to get some confirmation from the CRD [Capital Regional District] project board that the pipeline that is going from the sewage project is going underneath the Interurban Rail Trail,” said Atwell, who expressed hope that the work once completed will improve the trail for users of various kinds including cyclists.

The overall project consists out of three components: the treatment plant; the residual treatment facility; and the conveyance system for piping the wastewater.

Crews earlier this fall were drilling some 68 holes, including 52 in Saanich, to learn more about subsurface conditions along the proposed route of what the CRD calls the residual solid conveyance Line. It actually includes two pipes along with four or five pumping stations. The two pipes will run in a common trench, where possible.

CRD officials have promised to work with Saanich staff and community members once construction of the actual pipeline begins. Plans call for the creation of a Saanich community liaison committee expected to be in place by the end of this year prior to construction in the spring of 2018.

The first pipeline – 20 centimetres wide and 18.5 kilometres long – will transport residual solids. The second pipe – 35 centimetres wide and 11.5 kilometres long – will return the liquid removed from the residual solids during the treatment process to the Marigold pumping station. From there it will travel to the wastewater treatment plant through the existing collection system.

Andy Orr, a CRD spokesperson, said the project will affect about 3.5 kilometres of the trail.

No budget for that portion of the project is available. Overall, the total cost of the wastewater treatment project is $765 million.

“We anticipate construction starting in the summer of 2018 and taking approximately 2 years to complete,” said Orr. “Completion of the Project is planned for early 2020.”

CRD officials have promised to work with Saanich staff and community members once construction of the actual pipeline begins. Plans call for the creation of a Saanich Community Liaison Committee expected to be in place by the end of this year prior to the start of construction.

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