New water supply set to end Aldergrove’s severe watering restrictions

A major project that will bring an end to severe watering restrictions is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

A major project that will bring an end to severe watering restrictions in Aldergrove and Gloucester Industrial Estates is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

Construction of the East Langley Water Supply, which will provide clean, safe, and dependable drinking water to residents, businesses, and schools, is anticipated to wrap up by August 7, although restoration work in the affected area will continue for a few more months.

The Township of Langley’s top infrastructure priority, the 14-kilometre East Langley Water Supply project will connect Aldergrove and Gloucester to Metro Vancouver’s water system, providing direct access to the regional watersheds’ abundant resources.

The need for the new water supply is based on studies dating back to 2005.

“East Langley residents currently draw their water from local aquifers, which are gradually being depleted,” said Kevin Larsen, the Township’s manager of water resources and environment.

“Connecting to Metro Vancouver’s water system will provide a dependable water supply that will meet the needs of the area’s growing population, while reducing pressure on local aquifers. The environment will benefit as local aquifers can recharge and be sustained into the future, and base flows to local streams and watercourses will increase.”

The East Langley Water Supply will bring an end to the severe watering restrictions that east Langley residents and businesses have been faced with during the hot, dry summer months, so as not to deplete the aquifers. When the project is completed, those severe restrictions will be eased and the newly serviced areas will only be subject to the same watering restrictions seen in other Metro Vancouver areas.

In addition, farms that meet the requirements of the Township’s Waterworks Regulations will be able to draw on this new water source.

Work on the $33.5 million project got underway in May, 2013. The 52 Avenue route for the pipeline was selected by Township of Langley Council in 2010, with community input. The route was chosen based on environmental, economic, social, geotechnical, and operational factors, and because it allows for a water system back-up, as both aquifers and the new water pipeline can be used if needed.

Over half of the cost of the council-approved project will be financed from Development Cost Charges (DCCs) raised from new development, with the remainder being funded through the water utility. The project is being financed over a twenty-year period.

Larsen noted that construction of the project has been slower than expected due to a range of factors, including getting regulatory approvals, weather conditions, encountering boulders, a change in plans to cross the river, and pipe production issues.

Although challenges are not unusual in projects of this size and scope, Township of Langley staff have been working in close collaboration with the project consultant and contractor to resolve issues and limit inconveniences to residents living near construction.

Progress is being monitored at all government and industry levels to ensure the project is completed efficiently, and to the highest standard possible.

To date, over 13 km of the 14 km water pipeline has been installed between Willoughby and East Langley, and a new pump station has been completed in Murrayville.

Only two small sections of pipeline, totaling 800 metres, currently remain under construction in the Salmon River valley.

The remaining work now being done to complete the project includes:

• Installing the final 800 metres of pipeline;

• Putting finishing touches on the new water pump station and pipeline ancillary structures;

• Testing the new system for leaks;

• Cleaning, flushing, disinfecting, and water quality testing;

• Tying in the new distribution system to the Metro Vancouver supply;

• Restoring work areas, including roads, boulevards, and environmental areas; and

• Environmental monitoring and mitigation.

An environmental management plan, including an erosion and sediment control plan, is in place and all federal and provincial regulatory approvals have been obtained.

Once construction is complete, the areas affected by the work will be re-vegetated and fully restored.

“One of British Columbia’s foremost experts in slope restoration has been retained to advise on restoration in the area of the water main crossing of the Salmon River,” Larsen said.

“Township staff will also work with, and engage, local watershed stewardship groups to lessen the impact of construction and plan restoration activities and environmental enhancements.”

While the project has been delayed, it is on track to fall within its $33.5 million approved budget.

For more information on the East Langley Water Supply, visit the Township’s website at tol.ca/ELWS, call the Engineering Department at 604-533-6090, ext. 3441, or email tmacrae@tol.ca. Phone calls and emails are monitored frequently and responded to as promptly as possible.