Uplands Combined Sewer Separation

The provincial government’s Municipal Wastewater Regulation requires all BC municipalities to have separate stormwater and sanitary sewer systems. Compliance with the provincial regulation is mandatory for the District of Oak Bay as it is for other jurisdictions in the province such as Burnaby, New Westminster and the City of Vancouver where single pipe infrastructure currently exists.  Separation of the combined sewers is an integral part of the Capital Regional District’s Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan in compliance with the Municipal Wastewater Regulation.

The Uplands neighbourhood in Oak Bay currently has a single pipe system to accommodate both sanitary sewer and stormwater flows. During heavy rainfall, the storm water volume exceeds the capacity of the system and a combination of stormwater and raw sewage discharges into the shallow ocean waters at the Rutland and Humber pump stations. 

Preliminary Project Approval

At the Special Committee of the Whole on October 5, 2016 (agenda and recordings available here), the following recommendation was made unanimously:

That it be recommended to Council that:

1. The District of Oak Bay approve the recommendations of the pre-design report namely:

  • Option 4, a shallower gravity based storm system, including two isolated areas requiring municipal stormwater pumps;
  • Design by catchment area and not by construction phase;
  • Construction on a phased project basis, beginning with the Humber catchment, with contract packages at a minimum of $2 million each; and
  • Development of a plan for rehabilitation of the existing pipes; and

2. The District of Oak Bay approve the submission to the Capital Regional District requesting an amendment to the Capital Regional District’s Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan.

The recommendation was then endorsed by Council on October 11, 2016.

Next Steps

The Capital Regional District endorsed the required amendment to the CRD’s Core Area Liquid Management Plan. This amendment was given conditional approval by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on June 20, 2018.  Conditional approval is contigent on the District submitting follow up deliverables through the CRD, including a cost/benefit analysis of various potential timelines for project implementation, as well as an outline of a plan related to the rehabilitation of the existing sewers in their new roles as sanitary sewers going forward.  The District's response to the requests for further information related to condition approval can be found here; the District is awaiting the results of the process related to the Liquid Waste Management Plan.

In March of 2017, the District of Oak Bay was awarded a Clean Water Wastewater Fund grant of $324,958.  The purpose of the grant was to help the District progress with the detailed design of the Humber Catchment.  District staff worked with McElhanney Consulting Services Limited to complete this detailed design in spring 2018, providing the District with a shelf-ready project for implementation in the Humber Catchment.  The District submitted a grant applicaiton for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program grant application (in summer 2018) but was not successful.  The District submitted an application for the second intake of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program in February 2020.

Additional Information

Click here to access agendas, minutes and webcastings (where available) for the meetings listed below. 



Council - February 10/20 Report - Director of Engineering Services - Grant Opportunity - Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (2020 Intake)
Council - November 12/19 Report - Director of Engineering Services - Program Update: Combined Sewer Separation
Council - July 9/18 Report - Director of Engineering Services - Grant Opportunity - Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program - Green Infrastructure
Council - July 17/17 Report - Director of Engineering Services - Contract Award - Detailed Design Services - Humber Catchment (Uplands)
Council - May 23/17

Grant Opportunity - Strategic Priorities Fund (Federal Gas Tax Fund)

Media Release - Mar. 17/17 British Columbia Clean Water Wastewater Fund Announcement
Council - Nov. 14/16

Grant Opportunity - Clean Water and Wastewater Fund

Council - Oct. 11/16 Option endorsement by Council
Sp. Committee - Oct. 5/16

Presentation - Project Manager

Report - Project Manager

McElhanney Report - Project Recommendation

Final Report - Appendix A - Fig. A - 3A*

Final Report - Appendix A - Fig. 3B - 9*

Final Report - Appendix B

Final Report - Appendix C

Final Report - Appendix D

Final Report - Appendix E

(*large file size, slow download)

Council - Sept. 19/16

Project Manager Report re: Uplands Project Update

Project Manager Report re: Geotechnical Investigation

WSP Geotechnical Investigation Report - 1 of 2*

WSP Geotechnical Investigation Report - 2 of 2*

(*large file size, slow download)

Council - Jul. 18/16 Project Manager Memo re: Geotechnical Investigation Project Update
Council - Jun. 13/16 Project Manager Memo re: Supplementary Information
Media Release - Jun. 7/16 Geotechnical work to commence in Uplands Neighbourhood
Council - May 24/16 Project Manager Memo re: Contract Award for Phase 1 Geotechnical Investigation
COW - May 16/16

Memo - Assessing Service Installs and Tree Damage

Memo - Trenchless Technology

Presentation - Trenchless 101

Council - Apr. 25/16

Acting Dir. of Engineering Services Report - Small Communities Fund
Council - Mar. 29/16

Project Manager Memo re: Phase 1 Geotechnical Investigation and RFP

Chief Administrative Officer's Report

Council - Feb. 22/16 Project Manager's Report
COW - Feb. 15/16 Project Manager's Report
Sp. Committee - Feb. 2/16

CAO's Memo on Special Committee of the Whole Process

Project Manager's Report

Project Manager's Presentation

Tech Memo

Posted Jan.28/16

Options Development by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. (Oct. 30/15)

(large file size, slow download)

Tech Memo

Posted Jan. 28/16

Pre-Design Phase - McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. (Nov. 18/15)

(large file size, slow to download)

Media Release - Jan. 14/16 Special Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for Feb. 2/16
Media Release - Dec. 3/15 Deadline extended for survey to midnight December 11, 2015
Article - Nov. 27/15  Uplands Sewer Separation affects all residents - Oak Bay News
Online Survey - Nov. 9/15

Project survey: What is important to you? (closed midnight Dec. 11/15)

Survey results available here.

Tech. Report - Nov. 6/15 Archaeological Overview Assessment by Golder Associates Ltd.
Tech. Memo - Nov. 6/15

Archaeological Guidelines  by Golder Associates Ltd.

Please note: image rich document, may load slowly

Nov. 6/15 Open House Presentation Materials

FAQ - Oct. 27/15

Updated Nov. 6/15

Frequently Asked Questions on the Uplands Sewer Separation Project

Letter - Oct. 27/15 Letter to Residents Regarding Project
Media Release - Oct. 27/15 Open House Events Schedule
Council - Oct. 26/15 Summary of Six Options for Combined Sewer Separation

Council - Oct. 26/15


Powerpoint Presentation to Council by J.A. (Jack) Hull, Project Manager

Please note: image rich document, may load slowly

Council - Jun. 22/15 Revised Grant Application - Design, Public Outreach & Construction
Media Release - May 12/15 Council Awards Pre-Design Study Contract
Council - May 11/15 RFP Evaluation and Contract Award
Council - Mar. 23/15 Grant Application - Design
Committee - Feb. 16/15 Pre-Design Study Parameters
Uplands Survey Data - Sept. 2014 Survey Data (Excel, CSV file)