- OES students tackle schoolyard dog poop problemPosted 13 hours ago
- GMO foods dangerous, pervasive, former federal scientists tell forumPosted 13 hours ago
- Former Stockwell Day assistant Neufeld will seek federal Conservative nominationPosted 13 hours ago
- Christmas Lite-Up events feature Santa Parade and entertainmentPosted 13 hours ago
- Vancouver pharmaceutical company applies for license to operate commercial medical pot facility in OsoyoosPosted 13 hours ago
- School support staff prepared to walk picket lines starting Tuesday morningPosted 6 days ago
- Osoyoos stores open, close, move, change handsPosted 1 week ago
- Travel writer names Okanagan as world’s top wine destinationPosted 1 week ago
- Local leaders respond with caution to possible changes to modernize Agricultural Land CommissionPosted 1 week ago
Large construction project to upgrade town’s main sewer lift station underway
A construction project designed to dramatically upgrade and improve the town’s sewer capacity is underway and the project superintendent is hoping construction can be wrapped up by the first week in December.
Crews from Cantex-Okanagan Construction have started work to install an underground sewer main which will run from Legion Beach along 89 Street between Kingfisher Drive and Cactus Crescent, up Cactus Crescent, along and across Highway 97, up 107 and 58 Street to the sewage treatment plant by the Osoyoos Golf Course.
As with any project of this nature, residents in the affected areas will likely experience more dust, noise and vibration than normal, but crews will soon be working from both ends of the project to try and complete it as quickly as possible, said Mike Lauer, the project manager for Cantex Construction.
“We’re hoping to get this project done as quickly as possible so we can lay down asphalt before the winter comes,” said Lauer.
His crews will try to minimize disruptions to residents and will be happy to work with any property owner that has special requests for access to their property during construction, he said.
There will be heavy construction equipment working and he’s asking that all residents obey any and all signs and stay as far away from the equipment as possible, said Lauer.
Parents with school-aged children are urged to talk to their kids about the dangers of being around heavy equipment and the importance of making sure equipment operators see them at all times before passing equipment, he said.
“Safety is the top priority for us … let us know how we are doing,” he said.
The project will include running new 16-inch pipe from Legion Beach all the way up to the sewage treatment plant, with the tentative schedule designed to have the piping installed up to the highway by the end of October or early November and then completing the project the first or second week in December, he said.
This is a major project for the town and should help alleviate flooding problems in the area around 89 Street and Cactus Crescent, said Lauer.
“This main sewer system handles raw sewage for about 90 per cent of the town, so it’s important for sure,” he said. “We will be pushing very hard to get this all done before the asphalt plants close for the season in late November.
“The time lines are always flexible on a project like this because of budget, but our goal is to be done by the end of the first week of December and that remains our goal.”
Lauer says replacing old worn pipes with newer and larger pipes will make a big difference for area residents and the town in general.
“The project not only includes replacing piping, but improving grading and flow along Cactus Crescent and this should greatly alleviate some of the flooding issues they’ve had in that area,” he said. “It will also improve the area around 89 Street and help alleviate some of the problems with excess water down there.”
Members of Town of Osoyoos council approved this project over a month ago despite the project being almost a quarter million dollars over the initial budget estimates.
Despite objections from councilors C. J. Rhodes and Michael Ryan, who wanted the project delayed until next spring, Mayor Stu Wells received support from councillors Mike Plante and Sue McKortoff to proceed with the million-dollar upgrade.
Much of the piping leading to the main lift station on Legion Beach was installed in the 1960s and has not been replaced in more than 50 years.
Even though the town’s lagoon ponds are well below capacity several months following several months of concern, there could still be catastrophic consequences if there were major rainfall in town next spring and the main lift station has not been upgraded, said Wells.
Large sections of the downtown core were flooded out during significant rainfall events in late June and early July of 2012 in large part because the main lift station couldn’t handle the enormous amounts of water and old infrastructure was incapable of pumping that water to the storage lagoons, he said.
“I want to be able to sleep at night,” said Wells, saying a major spring storm could cause more severe flooding if the main lift station isn’t upgraded.
True Consulting, the town’s longtime engineering firm, prepared a report for members of council detailing why this project was significantly over budget.
The biggest reason were optimistic estimating of costs, issues that surfaced in the actual design implementation and having only four companies bid on the contract.
Staff has identified that the entire budget shortfall can be made up through delaying the development of the reclaimed water system at the high school.
Administration had delayed the high school project until approval was given by the board of trustees with School District 53 as it does involve dispersing huge amounts of effluent on property that is used by hundreds of local high school students on a regular basis, says a staff report.
The consultant report prepared for council indicates original budget unit costs were “significantly underestimated” and the lift station upgrade should have been estimated at $300 per meter instead of $215 in the original budget.
Cost estimates to dig up and replace asphalt were also optimistic, says the report.