Pitt Meadows sewer pump now fixed

Spill prevented from entering Fraser River

  • Apr. 21, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Thirty-two million litres of sewage was trucked off site after a plugged pump at a station on Baynes Road gave way earlier this month.

Thirty-two million litres of sewage was trucked off site after a plugged pump at a station on Baynes Road gave way earlier this month.

Thirty-two million litres of sewage was trucked off site after a plugged pump gave way in Pitt Meadows earlier this month.

The Baynes Road pump has since been repaired and samples collected by an environment consultant for Metro Vancouver show damage following the spill on April 3 was contained.

“Our field staff reacted quickly to reduce the size of the spill and prevented sewage migrating to the Fraser River,” said Metro Vancouver spokesperson Bill Morrell.

“As a precautionary measure, soil was removed from the affected area by the spill and replaced with new soil and treated with lime.”

The spill was caused by a “domino effect” from a plugged pump.

The clog caused the pump to vibrate and shake loose a mechanical fitting into piping, which led to sewage flowing from a “wetwell” into the pump and motor room.

The motors were immersed in sewage, which eventually led to the failure of all pumps.

It took about three days to fix the broken pump. During that time, sewage was trucked from Baynes Road to Metro’s Katzie pump station.

Due to heavy rainfall, Metro Vancouver had between 10 to 17 vacuum trucks moving approximately 32 million litres of sewage between April 3 and April 5.

“It was unfortunate that the Baynes Road pump station lost service at the same time as a storm moved in,” said Morell.

“We were taxed at our other stations, but able to weather the storm, so to speak.”

Metro Vancouver is considering other upgrades to its sanitary sewer and storm water system, in consultation with Pitt Meadow.  This includes looking at municipal “inflows” to find where solid material that may plug the pumps is entering the system.