Mission will be constructing a new $8.3-million underwater sewer line across the Fraser River, thanks to federal and provincial funding.
The announcement was made today (Friday, March 17) at Mission City Hall.
Jati Sidhu, member of Parliament for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon was joined by MLA Simon Gibson of Abbotsford-Mission, MLA Marc Dalton of Maple Ridge-Mission and Mission Mayor Randy Hawes to announce that the Fraser River Sanitary Crossing Siphon has been approved under the Government of Canada’s Clean Water and Waste Water Fund.
The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of the funding, $4,155,335, and the provincial government is providing $2,742,587.
The District of Mission will pay 17 per cent ($1,412,950) towards the $8,310,872 project.
“We actually have planned for it,” said Hawes, regarding the project costs. “So this is not a thing that we haven’t set aside the money to do it.”
The new sewer line across the Fraser River will twin the aging, existing line that currently brings all of Mission’s sewage to the JAMES Treatment Plant in Abbotsford for processing.
“Since that line was installed, we’ve had a lot of growth and now our growth rate is accelerating. So we are nearing capacity in that line,” said Hawes.
While more capacity is needed, Hawes said the bigger fear was the condition of the old line and what could happen if it began to leak.
“I think the most important thing of all is the environmental concerns because we just don’t know what the condition of that pipe is.
“We don’t want to be the city that caused a massive environmental disaster which it would be if that pipe burst in the river.”
Hawes said if the pipe did burst, raw sewage from the entire community could pour into the river.
Construction on the new sewer line could begin by September of this year.
Sidhu, while making the funding announcement told the crowd that he “understood the need for this pipeline to be replaced.”
“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we’re reminded of the important role infrastructure has played in our national history. From the railroad to broadband access, investment in infrastructure has connected Canadians across our vast country,” said Sidhu.
He said the federal government’s infrastructure plan will continue to benefit Canadians.
About the pipe project:
The current sewer line is constantly under pressure and about one kilometre of it is buried in the sand under the Fraser River. It was constructed in 1983 and is now 34 years old. It is believed that the pipe will reach its capacity in the next four to five years.
Mission discharges its wastewater to the Joint Abbotsford Mission Environmental Systems (JAMES) plant through this 60 cm river-crossing pipe for treatment.
The proposed new project would allow the installation of approximately 2,410 metres of a 75 or 90 cm pipe from Mission to the JAMES waste water treatment plant, of which 950 metres of it will be in a dredged trench on the bottom of the Fraser River close to the existing siphon.
The increase in capacity of the sanitary trunk system would allow for further development within Mission, and also reduce the environmental risk of the existing pipe.
Big cracks or broken pieces on this pipe would cause huge volume of raw sewage to discharge into the Fraser River.