One of the aging and corroded sewer pipes that crosses Hays Creek.

One of the aging and corroded sewer pipes that crosses Hays Creek.

Ed Fast promises enough money to cover next phase of project to shut down Hays Creek sewer

International Trade Minister, Ed Fast, promises enough money to cover the cost of phase 2 of the City's project to close an aging sewer.

  • Feb. 23, 2012 1:00 p.m.

There was another funding announcement made today and it was for the City of Prince Rupert.

International Trade and Asia-Pacific Gateway Minister, Ed Fast, announced at City Hall that the government would be providing $650,130 for the city to install a secondary pump station that will allow the city to relocate the sewer pipeline to somewhere other than along the banks of a salmon-bearing stream.

“The city has been working diligently for several years now on a plan to improve the Hays Creek sewer outfall. This federal funding will allow us to remove the sewer line running under Hays Creek, improving it’s water quality and protecting salmon habitat while offering improved service to residents in the area,” says Mayor Jack Mussallem.

The money for this project is being taken from the Gas Tax Fund which is meant to help municipalities fund their infrastructure projects.

Richard Pucci is the project coordinator for the city’s Hays Creek Sewer Pipe project. Pucci says the Hay’s Creek sewer pipes were first installed sometime in either the 1920’s or 1930’s and they run down the length of the creek until the reach an outfall into the ocean and are now in bad need of being replaced.

“It’s falling apart – well, not necessarily falling apart , but it’s in really rough shape – so part of this grant was to relocate that sewer and to get it into a common trench in the roadway,” explains Pucci.

A common trench, Pucci explains, is a space underneath the roadway for utilities like sewers. The logic being that digging up a road to do repairs is better than digging up a park or a creek bed.

The project has been working in phases and the grant money will cover the cost of phase 2. Most Rupertites are probably familiar with phase 1 of the project, which was the construction of a primary pump station next to the civic centre.

“The original line used to be completely gravity-fed, so it went down and into the ocean. Now, what we did was put in a new pump station which then pumps the sewage up to 8th Avenue East and down into the outfall, which keeps it out of the creek.” says Pucci.

The grant money will be used for phase 2 which will see a much smaller pump station put in by the skatepark which will divert the sewage from Alexandria Place to to the Sherbrook Avenue as well as the civic centre will be diverted away from the pipes running along the creek.

“The point of this is to get all the sewage out of the pipes going down Hays Creek, once that’s done we’ll be decommissioning the pipes and and we’re working with DFO on the decommissioning process,” says Pucci.

Not all of pipes will be safe to be removed, but once they are decommissioned and the majority of them taken away, Pucci says that they will be making improvements to the walking trails that also run alongside the creek.

While the funding for phase 2 of the project is now covered, the engineering still needs to be finished before the city will issue a tender to contractors for the job in a couple weeks time.