The sixth and final phase of the River Valley stormwater management in Williams Lake has been approved.
Council agreed at last week’s regular meeting to allocate $73,440 from general revenue to complete the project.
Mayor Walt Cobb said he anticipates that it will start in the spring and be completed by late summer.
“We’ve been working back down there now for the last three or four years so this is an ongoing project,” Cobb said. “We do a little bit every year as we have the money and it’s taking care of the storm sewer problem down in the river valley and hopefully stop any flooding or washing out of our sewer line that goes out to the Fraser River.”
In 2004, the City received correspondence from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) that the discharged water quality from the City of Williams Lake stormwater outfalls is adversely impacting fish and fish habitat in Williams Lake River.
With a predesign study having identified a total of six separate upgrades to address FOC’s concerns, staff over the years have applied for various grants such as the Federal Gas Tax, Canada-BC Municipal and Rural Infrastructure Fund, Canada Water and Wastewater Fund, and FCM Green Municipal Fund to undertake these improvements.
Manager of Planning and Development, Hasib Nadvi said the City constructed phase 1 in 2004, phase 2 in 2009, phases 3 and 5 in 2014, and phase 4 in 2018.
The city was unsuccessful in a 2019 grant application to the FCM Green Municipal fund to cost share the improvements for the sixth and final phase.
Cobb said he was not necessarily surprised as the City is only successful with only 30 to 40 percent of their grant applications.
“Regardless this work has to be done so we found other ways of doing it. The River Valley is a pretty intricate area and of course our sewer line going down there we had different washouts,” he said. “Thankfully we haven’t had any breakages in the sewer line so this project secures our sewer line so that we protect it and don’t have any washouts because if we had a washout or a breakage in the line then we’re going to have problems with the Ministry of Environment when it comes to the sewer line.”