The latest plans for the water treatment plant include moving a creek channel. Image, Village of Cumberland report

The latest plans for the water treatment plant include moving a creek channel. Image, Village of Cumberland report

Plans, timeline changes for Cumberland wastewater project timeline

Latest plan has creek channel being moved for site stability as well as different building sites

Cumberland’s wastewater treatment plant will take a little longer than hoped.

The project is also incorporating a few changes to plans, says project co-ordinator Paul Nash.

He updated council on the plans for the village’s capital project at the Sept. 27 meeting.

Originally, the plan was to have the facility ready by September 2022, though he now expects it will take a little longer to commission. He expects breaking ground will have to wait until next spring, though work such as site preparation and some tree-clearing will happen sooner. While the site might be ready, Nash said they want to avoid a situation where they dig a large hole that can sit and fill with water over the winter.

Nash said there have been about four versions of plans for the site.

“We’ve gone through several iterations of what it’s going to look like and where things are,” he said.

One of the most notable changes in the latest version is a plan to mitigate possible seismic and flooding concerns by moving a channel from Maple Lake Creek away from the lagoon site to the east where the seedbed and wetlands are located. These will play a role in later phases of the water treatment, with the channel now forming part of the wetlands.

The question surrounds the situation of berms on the site and lagoon stability.

“They’ve been there 50 years, and they’re fine,” he said.

However, Nash explained a concern would be the effect on high water during winter rains and if lagoons were lost during an earthquake, which would prove disastrous, he added.

In addition to the creek channel move, other changes from earlier plans including moving the treatment works area and the service buildings. Nash said the project team will be meeting in the next week, so they would know more about any additional changes.

Council were glad to get the update but did have questions about the effects on trails near the area and tree removal. Coun. Vickey Brown asked if there was any idea on the number of trees that could be removed, and she wondered whether they could top them instead.

Nash replied they hoped to take down as few as possible, though he added that some of the alders and cottonwoods could pose a threat to the site if they came down during a storm, so the project might look to replanting those areas with shorter trees or shrubs.

A public engagement process for the project includes tours of the site and an open house in the days following the council meeting. At some point though, they will have to cut off public access to the site for work to start. This will mean fencing, though Nash is not sure where they will be putting in construction fencing first for site work or go right to erecting permanent fencing.

“We have to make the site secure,” he said.

Nash also expects the budget could be different than planned, though he expects to have details for council on this in the next month or so, as well as areas where they could save money. He did not expect the changes to the timeline to pose any challenges for the eligibility of the grants funding the project.

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In March, council awarded tenders for the project manager, project engineer and construction manager. At that point, the project was estimated to be $9.7 million.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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