Potable Water Infrastructure –– Project Update
Since my last update in the spring, a number of administrative prerequisites have been completed, or are in the process of being completed, to satisfy Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) requirements to obtain a signed “agreement” under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) program -- that is, obtain the actual infrastructure grant. This agreement is a necessary prerequisite before the municipality can prepare tenders and begin the construction phase of the potable water system.
Belcarra staff has been working with a team of highly qualified professionals who have enabled the municipality to compile and assemble the required documentation for the Environmental Assessment requested by WD. Through the efforts of Walt Bayless, Dayton & Knight Ltd., Kurt Fehr, Balanced Environmental Inc., Ron Beesley, Beesley Engineering Ltd., and Bill Papove, Papove & Associates, issues raised by various referral agencies have been addressed. A summary of these efforts follows:
- Dayton & Knight has determined the proposed construction methodology for the twin submarine watermains that will connect to Belcarra under Indian Arm. The methodology will involve butt-fusing high pressure HDPE polyethylene pipe (8" OD pipe with 1" wall thickness) into 100m lengths on Midden Road in Belcarra, which will be floated off-shore and electro-fused together from a barge.
- Sediment samples have been obtained from the ocean bed of the proposed pipeline route and analyzed to ensure that the sediment meets the Disposal-at-Sea criteria.
- Dayton & Knight has submitted an application for a Disposal-at-Sea permit that included publication of a Notice-of-Intent in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. The permit application takes up to 120 days to process.
- Dayton & Knight and Balanced Environmental are finalizing the marine and riparian environmental assessment details required by both WD and the Burrard Environmental Review Committee (BERC). Issues like biophysical mitigation, fish habitat impacts, protection of the eel grass, assessments for leak detection and water loss, and pipeline protection, must all be addressed and approved prior to construction.
- Detailed surveys of the District of North Vancouver (DNV) and Belcarra intertidal areas, plus the road allowances where meters and valves will be located, have been completed.
- A detailed design for the DNV intertidal works is 95% complete, and is being prioritized to meet the 2009 fisheries construction window.
- The Servicing Agreement between DNV and Belcarra has been drafted for vetting by legal counsel for each jurisdiction.
- Belcarra’s staff and consulting engineers are proceeding with First Nations consultations.
- Belcarra public works staff have completed the required certification to “operate a water system” with further training upgrades scheduled for this fall.
- Staff and Council are finalizing information necessary to proceed with the requisite bylaws for the project.
- Await WD’s and referral agencies’ approval on the Environmental Assessment documents that will result in a signed “agreement” from the Federal and BC Provincial Governments affirming design and mitigation requirements.
- Prepare detailed designs for modifications to Belcarra’s water reservoirs, pressure balancing valves, and pressure reducing and pressure boosting stations.
- Develop procedures to satisfy the Fraser Health Authority and North Shore Health Authority requirements for commissioning of the water system.
- Facilitate First Nations consultations required by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) as a prerequisite to VFPA issuing a Development Permit to construct the underwater main.
- Develop and adopt bylaws related to construction standards, metering, and rate structure.
- Facilitate a DNV open house focused on construction works on or near the DNV intertidal area.
- Facilitate a Belcarra open house to provide details on construction standards and works.
- Finalize remote-read or radio water meter reading systems.
- Further train public works staff as "certified water system operators".
- Finalize the engineering design and tendering for the project.
As indicated by the preceding, it is a complicated and specialized process to bring potable water into Belcarra that requires a very high level of information, approvals, permits and consultation involving a number of parties.
The good news is we are still on schedule for construction of the submarine watermain in 2009, followed by the land-based watermain and service connections.