(via Scott Moffatt,Councillor for Rideau-Goulbourn)
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 (April 7), 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.