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Water, sewer, and street upgrades underway across the city this spring

February 8 2018

“Ensuring that our infrastructure works for residents is at the core of the work we do,” says Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering Services.

Sewer infrastructure upgrades

A number of water, sewer, and street improvement projects are underway this spring as the City coordinates work to upgrade essential infrastructure while limiting impacts on residents, businesses, and road users. 

“Ensuring that our infrastructure works for residents is at the core of the work we do,” says Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering Services. “Every day residents see our street infrastructure – sidewalks, lighting, and streets – which ensure that we can get where we need to go safely on foot, by bike, and by vehicle. But what you don’t see each day are the water and sewer mains underground that we upgrade regularly to ensure our city is healthy and functioning. ”  

Water main upgrades

Each year, the City replaces up to seven kilometres of water main throughout Vancouver, to provide homes and businesses with treated drinking water from the Seymour Water Treatment Facility operated by Metro Vancouver. 

In addition to smaller water main upgrades throughout the City, this spring we are undertaking a large replacement:

  • Fraser Street (King Edward to 33rd Ave) water main upgrades coordinated with sewer and street improvements

Sewer main upgrades and separation

The City manages a total of 2,117 kilometres of sewer main across Vancouver, and continues to replace combined sewer systems with separated systems as part of its 2050 sewer separation target, more than 50% of which is now complete. 

In 2018, a minimum of four kilometres of combined sewer separation is planned to be delivered. Separated systems take waste water from homes to the treatment plants, while runoff water from the streets is redirected to natural waterways.

The benefits of a separated sewer system include: 

  • Eliminating combined sewer overflow
  • Preventing flooding by increasing capacity
  • Allowing storm water to be used as a resource

In many places around Vancouver, residential growth is significant that sewer lines must be upgraded to accommodate new capacity needs. Large-scale sewer upgrades and separation projects throughout the city this spring include:

  • Oakridge Trunk: sewer separation and capacity upgrades coming to completion
  • Smithe Street (Homer to Beatty): increased sewer capacity to help serve the growing neighbourhood
  • Fraser Street (King Edward to 33rd): increased capacity and completion of sewer separation along Fraser Street
  • St. Catherines Trunk: sewer separation to begin early March

Streets upgrades

In 2017 the City upgraded 14 kilometres of the 4,260 kilometres of sidewalks, streets, and lanes throughout Vancouver, and is anticipating to upgrade the same length this year. 

Street rehabilitation and safety improvements will be underway throughout the city, including:

  • 10th Avenue Corridor: walking and cycling safety improvements in the Health Precinct
  • Quebec and 1st Avenue: street rehabilitation following major development in the area
  • South False Creek Seawall: safety and accessibility upgrades expected to be completed this spring
  • Fraser Street: safety improvements for people walking with a new pedestrian signal at Fraser and E 28th Avenue, and reconfiguration of the intersection to facilitate safer crossings – coordinated with sewer separation and water main upgrades
  • St. Catherines Trunk: safety improvements for people walking along routes to Sir Alexander Mackenzie School, including new curb bulges at three pedestrian crossings – coordinated with sewer separation and upgrades

Road users are encouraged to plan ahead by checking road closures online or connecting on the go through VanConnect

The City extends its thanks to residents and travellers for their patience while these infrastructure upgrades are completed.