Updates on the Richmond Pumping Station & McBean Street Bridge

In last week’s column, I joked about the end of winter but I didn’t anticipate all of spring occurring over a matter of two days. I hope everyone has had a chance to dry out. When we get these extreme weather events, there can tend to be adverse effects on certain operations. Last week’s rain was no exception as the Richmond Pumping Station was impacted.

This past Friday afternoon, the Pumping Station was nearing capacity and a by-pass was put in place to prevent a potential failure of the system. The by-pass diverted overflows directly into the Jock River. By-pass pumping from the Royal York Street Pumping Station ceased at 9:00pm that same evening.

City Staff recorded that 4,300 cubic meters of wastewater was pumped into the Jock River. Unfortunately, due to severe flooding, the Richmond Lagoons by-pass valve, which would normally redirect any overflow from the wastewater system to the lagoons, was in-accessible, leading to the by-pass operation that ultimately took place.

Due to the high water level of the Jock River, the by-pass overflow line leading from the pumping station to the Jock River was lower in elevation than the Jock River Water levels. The decision was made by staff to actively pump wastewater from the station so water in the river would not backfill into the pipe which would have caused the pumping station to flood. This would have resulted in the City losing operational control of the pumping station and the integrity of the system as a whole.

Staff remained onsite throughout the weekend to monitor the wastewater system. The Ministry of the Environment was notified at the beginning of the by-pass operation. Regular operations of the wastewater system have resumed. This event was caused by the heavy rains coupled with the spring freshet. There are plans to upgrade the Pumping Station and forcemain to accommodate future growth and the increased capacity in the coming years. Part of that upgrade is taking place currently between the pumping station and Eagleson Road. The entire project, funded by growth, will see the station upgraded and a twinning of the forcemain from Richmond into Kanata.

McBean Street Bridge

As residents in Richmond may have noticed, the City has closed access to the west sidewalk on the McBean Street Bridge because of concrete deterioration. As you may recall, the City undertook some improvements to the east sidewalk a few years ago and, at that time, there was no funding available to address the deterioration on the west side. Since the east side is used more frequently, it was repaired and widened.

Recently, the City received a service request for the west sidewalk due to continued concrete deterioration propagating to the edge of the narrow sidewalk on the west side of the structure. Staff have inspected the bridge and the railing and posts appear to be sturdy.  Therefore, there are no concerns structurally but the concrete deterioration led to the closure.

Staff considered temporary repairs pending the planned replacement of the bridge in 2018.   To do that, the west sidewalk would still need to be closed for repairs and then the entire works would be replaced in 2018. Staff felt that closing the narrow west sidewalk would not severely impact the level of service and prevent wasting money with the full repair slated for 2018.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.