The City of Salmon Arm must do a video inspection of the 915-metre pipe that carries the city’s treated effluent to an outfall in Salmon Arm Bay. (File photo)

The City of Salmon Arm must do a video inspection of the 915-metre pipe that carries the city’s treated effluent to an outfall in Salmon Arm Bay. (File photo)

Salmon Arm’s wastewater outfall in Shuswap Lake to feature in video

To maintain operating certificate, city’s nearly kilometre-long pipe must undergo examination

The pipe that carries treated effluent from Salmon Arm’s wastewater treatment plant – or Water Pollution Control Centre (WPCC) – into Shuswap Lake is due for an inspection.

Such a job is not a simple task, as council heard from city staff on Monday, April 11.

The treated effluent goes into the lake via a nearly kilometre long (915-metre) and 550-millimetre (22-inch) high-density polyethylene pipe which was installed in 1978 – 44 years ago. The outfall goes into Salmon Arm Bay.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, told council the pipe has reached approximately 50 per cent of its lifespan.

The city’s operating certificate requires an annual inspection of the outfall to ensure it is in good working condition and must include examination of the entire length of the pipe for leaks, breaks and blockages.

“The outfall pipe is difficult to inspect as it is buried with the majority of the pipe submerged below lake level. Although staff inspect the outfall annually using dye testing or other methods, a video inspection and condition evaluation completed for the full length of outfall pipe was deemed to be the ideal best practice on a semi-regular basis,” stated the staff report.

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The city’s request for quotations for the ‘Shuswap WPCC Outfall Inspection Project’ generated just one submission. Although the city’s 2022 budget contained only $5,000 for the project, the quote from ASI Group Ltd. was for $27,800 plus taxes.

To make up the outfall inspection shortfall, $25,000 will be transferred from the city’s Canoe Beach Drive sanitary sewer replacement project (50th to 52nd Street ). Because funds available weren’t sufficient to complete the $87,000 Canoe project this year, the full amount will be budgeted in 2023.

The ASI Group’s quotation included sounding and videoing of the outfall pipe, while accessing it using a boat on Shuswap Lake. Staff reported that ASI’s submersible equipment will not be able to access approximately 100 metres of pipe to the south of what’s called “access manhole 1.” However, staff reported that city equipment and staff should be able to complete the remaining videoing of the line as it is above lake level during some parts of the year.

Staff recommended council accept ASI’s quotation and the transfer of funds from the Canoe project.

“The work required is very specialized due to the above noted difficulties in inspecting the pipe; however, the work is required in order to be in compliance with the WPCC outfall permit,” concluded the staff report.

Without discussion, council voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation.

According to the city’s website, the city operates one of the most advanced wastewater treatment facilities in B.C.

“The process involves primary, secondary and tertiary treatment using a biological nutrient removal process to produce an excellent quality effluent. Using both fixed growth and suspended growth reactors, the plant removes phosphorous, ammonia, solids and biological waste (BOD) from the raw sewage…

“The facility is classified under the Environmental Operators Certification Program as a Level IV plant based on the complexity and is operated by a chief operator and three operators.”
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