An investigation by District staff into the second sewage backup in a Fairy Lake neighbourhood in less than a year has pegged the cause on an electrical failure at its Hwy. 60 Coveside pumping station.
The latest incident took place on Aug. 29, 2018. Sewage backed up into six homes along Szawlowski Drive. At the time, the District said it was investigating the incident and dispatched a private contractor to clean up the mess. Staff has since told Doppler that no sewage had made it into the lake.
In correspondence on Thursday, Sept. 13, District Communications Officer Molly Ross issued a statement via email saying the investigation “determined that the cause was linked to the electrical control systems and back up alarms for the pumping station.” She also stated that the investigation had confirmed that the Aug. 29 incident “was not linked to the causes of the back up last year in the similar area.”
A similar incident took place last October, also impacting several homes on the same road as well as businesses along Hwy. 60. At the time, the District issued a press release stating that the Coveside pumping station failed when the pumps turned off automatically and no alarms were triggered.
Several steps are being taken to ensure sewage backups do not reoccur, stated Ross in further email correspondence. She said backwater valves would be installed in area homes and one will also be installed in the manhole on Szawlowski Drive.
“Further steps to fortify the multi-barrier protections against recurrence are underway including upgrades to the electrical control panel, float back-up system, alarming systems and the addition of an independent alarming system to be completed shortly,” she added on Sept. 15. “In addition, an electrical engineering firm continues their investigation into the root cause of these incidents and the District will act immediately on their findings.”
Ross also said that in future, loading will be reduced to the Coveside pumping station as upgrades to the system are constructed.
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