City of Powell River Council has approved the route of the pipeline between Westview and the new Townsite wastewater treatment facility, as well as the design concept for the facility itself.

At its Thursday, May 17th meeting, councillors voted unanimously for the conveyancing route of the pipeline through Willingdon Beach Trail, as well as the natural integration theme for the design of the consolidated wastewater treatment plant.

Regarding the motion on the conveyancing route, Councillor Karen Skadsheim said there was not a lot of difference in capital cost in constructing the pipeline route along Willingdon Beach Trail, or Marine Avenue, but there was a significant difference in operating and maintenance costs. The Marine Avenue route would accrue an estimated $2.28 million in electrical cost plus pump replacement over fifteen years versus an estimated $712,000 for the Willingdon Beach Trail.

“I have lots of confidence that the engineers have heard us loud and clear that there is a lot of concern about the trails,” said Skadsheim. While the trail is the more sensitive route, during construction, the project will make use of technologies and procedures that will have the least impact on sensitive parts of the route, she added.

In a report to council, it was noted that the Willingdon Beach Trail alignment will require:

  • A 450 millimetre High-density polyethylene (HDPE) dimension ratio (DR) 26 main through the Willingdon Beach Campsite from Campsite 13 to Campsite 18.
  • A 450 millimetre HDPE DR 26 main directionally drilled from Campsite 18 to the Willingdon Beach Trail.
  • A 450 millimetre HDPE DR 26 main on the Willingdon Beach Trail including a 600 millimetre diameter by 12 millimetre thick steel pipe bridge adjacent to the existing pedestrian trestle bridge.

Council then considered a motion regarding the design concept of the treatment plant itself. Skadsheim said that based on community engagement sessions and an online survey, she was recommending that council proceed to final design of the wastewater treatment plant with a natural integration theme.

Tor Birtig, director of infrastructure, said the city had a couple of proposals for the design and one of the distinct comments received was that respondents did not want to see the wall of the treatment plant designed in the shape of the Hulks, as was the case with the heritage theme.

Illustration of the natural integration theme for the wastewater treatment plant. Image Credit: Powell River.

“They wanted something that integrated more with nature in that area,” said Birtig. “We heard them loud and clear and want to move forward with the green roofs. With respect to the living wall, we heard that we should not completely enclose it with foliage, but to have various components of it either murals or concrete that has some specific design inlaid in it.”

Skadsheim said her understanding is that the funding announcement from senior levels of government will be imminent and that there will be a narrow window of application time, and so that it would be imperative to get the design for the consolidated wastewater treatment facility concluded for submission.


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