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Valve failure causes extensive damage at Norrish Creek water plant

Local plant supplies water to Mission and Abbotsford residents.


Abbotsford News

A valve failure at the Norrish Creek Water Treatment Plant in March caused extensive damage to plant's electrical equipment, according to a report presented to council on Monday.

On March 27, a valve failed, allowing water to escape into the plant. The water kept rising until it started running out the doors on the second floor, according to the report.

Norrish Creek provides water to both Abbotsford and Mission.

The damage is set to cost about $2.1 million – though it will be covered by the insurance company, with the city paying the $10,000 insurance deductible.

The plant will currently use its slow sand filters until the damage is repaired, and will provide the same capacity, states the report.

However during intense rain storms, the plant may have to be shut down until the water in Norrish Creek clears, in which time Cannel Lake and the wells will be able to provide an adequate supply, according to staff.

Consultants estimate it is possible to have the plant back in operation in eight to ten weeks.

The report states that the water supply in the summer should not be affected if all sand filters are kept online, though its necessary for the repairs to be done as quickly as possible.

Mayor Henry Braun said he is glad insurance was covering the cost, but "I am concerned about what we do in the future to prevent this from happening again," though he added that staff are addressing the issue.

In October 2013, the Norrish Creek water supply was shut down for more than a month by a rock slide that breached the main water supply pipe. At that time, residents did not see an impact to their water services as Cannell Lake and the wells were able to meet the demand.