The City of Pitt Meadows is exploring options to replace pumps at the Kennedy Road Pump Station with fish friendly ones.
However, a fish friendly pump costs $1,245,000 compared to a typical submersible pump at $535,000.
Installation costs are expected to be in between $600,000 to $800,000.
Mayor John Becker said that the need for a new pump station is not open for debate.
“The pumps themselves are very old, parts are very difficult to obtain and sometimes we have to get them machined, which, of course, is an expensive and time consuming process,” he said.
Becker added that the pumps are not energy efficient and the building, as well, is not seismically sound.
There are five factors that have to be considered, Becker said, when considering the Katzie Slough and pump station.
Drainage from an emergency perspective is the first priority of the station. Then there is irrigation water for farmers, the Katzie First Nation eco-cultural values for the slough, the recreational value of the slough and possible salmon habitat.
Currently, there is no requirement to provide for fish passage if the pumps are merely repaired or replaced, only if a new pump station is to be constructed.
The Kennedy Road Pump Station already has floodgates that do allow for the passage of fish, depending on tidal conditions and water levels in the slough.
The city will look at applying for grants, particularly in partnership with the Katzie First Nation, as well as working with senior governments and agencies to find money for the project.
Becker wants to determine the approach to the pump replacement in time for proper business planning in the fall.
“The question is going to become, do we absolutely need to replace the pumps and the pump station and how do we mitigate the costs of what would be a fish friendly pump,” said Becker.