Safety upgrade for Ladysmith water pipe

  • May. 16, 2011 3:00 p.m.

One of the projects to be paid for by the $30 increase in the water parcel tax is fixing the Holland Creek Crossing.

Joe Friesenhan, director of public works for the town, said the area of concern is where the water pipeline that feeds the north end of town crosses Holland Creek.

Years of washout has left an empty cavity between the pipe and the stream, said Friesenhan, leaving the pipe vulnerable to falling rocks or debris.

“It may never happen,” Friesenhan said of the chance of the pipe being smashed.

If it does happen, there will be several problems.

“Then we’ve got two problems,” said Friesenhan. “We’ve smashed a pipe and are out of water down here, but we’re also getting chlorinated water into the stream which we can’t do.”

The fix means replacing the pipe and putting it deeper and encasing it in a liner.

A bridge is slated to be built in the same area, at which time the pipe will likely be fastened underneath, but that could be 20 years away.

“We have to do it now,” said Friesenhan.

Friesenhan said staff noticed the problem last year and to create a fix, pulled rocks and gravel out and put in a few bigger boulders.

Erosion has since taken the rocks away.

Friesenhan said because of the fish habitat, crews can only work in the area between June and mid-September.

The detailed design has been completed and estimates for the project are around $174,000.

Friesenhan said the town is getting a permit now and by the time a tender is awarded, he thinks work will begin in July.

“That should be the driest month.”

Friesenhan said they will be diverting water so no one has to go without during the repairs, but added people will have to be conscious of their use.

“The supply won’t be there.”

Public works will be taking out ads to let people know when the work is set to begin.

 

Work on the south end to Arbutus Reservoir will be hopefully done at the same time to address other creek crossings.