Pump problems could delay East Langley Water Supply project

Project delays could lead to East Langley water restrictions

Problems with a pump station in Maple Ridge could cause trouble for a  $33.5 million Langley project to bring Metro Vancouver water to Aldergrove and Gloucester.

It could also mean there will be water restrictions in the Aldergrove area again next summer.

Township engineering and community development manager Ramin Seifi has sent a letter to the director of engineering and construction water services at Metro Vancouver, Goran Oljaca, expressing concern that delays to the Barnston Maple Ridge Pump Station at 200 Street and Lougheed Highway “will have a direct impact on the Township’s East Langley Water Supply (ELWS) project and will adversely affect our ability to provide timely supply of water to area residents.”

In his Oct. 3 letter, Seifi referred to a July meeting of Metro representatives with “impacted municipalities” including both Langleys and Maple Ridge, where the municipalities were informed the pump won’t be completed until the fall of 2015.

That means the pump will not be running during the summer months of 2015 when demand for water will peak and the new East Langley water service is supposed to be operating.

In the letter Seifi said Metro was blaming “unanticipated geotechnical problems” as well as problems with contractors and suppliers for the delay.

The Seifi letter hints the pump delay could force the Township to impose water restrictions in East Langley and asks for written assurance that enough water volume will be allocated to Langley so that East Langley “will not be required to endure more severe restrictions than other areas of the region.”

East Langley’s water currently comes from seven groundwater wells and every summer, when water usage peaks, restrictions have to be enforced.

The pipeline is designed to end that.

It is the biggest project ever undertaken by the Township of Langley’s engineering department, with 14 kilometres of one-metre diameter water main and a booster pump station connecting to the regional Metro Vancouver water system.

In response to a Times query, Seifi said work on the pipeline was recently “paused” due to an unrelated issue.

He said the contractor has encountered hard rock, and work was expected to resume once the necessary environmental requirements were met to cut through the rock.

He said he expects the pipeline will be completed on time.