Contract Award for the Pre-Design Study of Options for the Uplands Combined Sewer Separation Project

May 12, 2015

The District of Oak Bay (the District) has awarded a contract to McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. (MCSL) to undertake a pre-design study that will examine options for separating the existing 100 year-old combined sewer and stormwater pipe in the Uplands area. The provincial government through its Municipal Wastewater Regulation requires all BC communities that have single pipe infrastructure to take the appropriate action to separate stormwater flow from sanitary sewage flow. Compliance with the provincial regulation is mandatory.

The contract services will result in a thorough review of potential options for separation of the sanitary and stormwater systems, and each option will be assessed to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the environmental, social and economic impacts. The total value of contract is $168,855.75.

Options to be considered include:

  • the existing combined gravity sanitary sewer would only carry stormwater;
  • the existing combined gravity sanitary sewer would only carry wastewater;
  • a low pressure sewer system for wastewater;
  • a low pressure sewer system for stormwater;
  • a combination of gravity and low pressure systems; and
  • any other innovative approach envisaged by the Consultant to achieve the goal of separating the combined gravity sanitary sewer in the Uplands neighbourhood.

McElhanney (MCLS) is a multi-disciplinary Canadian consulting firm that has provided innovative solutions and services to local government, private land developers and resource development industries throughout western Canada and abroad.

MCLS will commence work immediately with a materials review, and residents in the Uplands will receive written notification alerting them to the timing and the nature of any work being undertaken in their neighbourhood.  As part of the pre-design study to examine options, MCLS will be looking throughout the Uplands area to identify appropriate conditions for ground infiltration, either for rain-gardens or on-site ground disposal of rainwater. Design concepts will reflect the desire to minimize trench construction and easements on private property which would potentially negatively impact fences, hedges, and, in particular, healthy, mature, trees.

MCLS is expected to present their findings and options to Council in early fall.  Oak Bay residents will then be invited to participate in a community engagement process to review the concepts, ask questions and provide input. 

Upon the conclusion of a comprehensive review with the community, Council will ask staff to proceed to detailed design for one option, and will seek government funding to advance this project to construction.  Regular updates will be provided on the District of Oak Bay’s website as we move forward.