Kamloops City council expects resistance to a staff request to spend $600,000 to upgrade sewage systems beneath Mission Flats, but councillors say the work needs to be completed sooner than later.
“It’s something that needs to be done,” said Coun. Ken Christian.
Municipal infrastructure ages and becomes ineffectual as a city’s population expands. Christian said that’s the case with the concrete trunk sewers near Domtar.
In July 2011, a concrete pipe beneath Mission Flats Road failed, causing a massive sewage leak. The road was closed for days and sewage diverted into a Domtar pond while crews repaired the damage. Christian said it’s a good thing effluent didn’t spill into the Thompson River.
At the time, the repairs were expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, council is asked to spend $616,000 to rehabilitate, replace and install piping, install and replace five chambers/manholes and adjust water service to the chamber pulp mill station.
A report states the two sanitary trunk sewers were installed in the 1970s and the typical life expectancy is 75 years. However, chemical corrosion from sewer gas has hastened degradation.
Christian said there’s a belief that once a sidewalk or pipe is installed, it’s there for good. But that is never the case.
“Pavement has a lifespan, pipes have a lifespan, so that’s part of it,” he said.
Capacity is also an issue as the city grows, and upgrades are needed to cope with increase demand, he said.
“It’s not something you can’t get around doing,” added Christian.
His council colleagues agree. Arjun Singh said he prefers to take budgetary decisions to the public but, in this case, it’s probably better to act now.
Pat Wallace and Donovan Cavers believe the aging infrastructure needs to be dealt with. Wallace said she will listen to what staff has to say, but expects to vote in favour of the project.
The matter will be discussed in council chambers on Tuesday.