The Regional District of Nanaimo has no plans to redesign their sewage diffuser in French Creek to allow fishing nets to slide over it, despite a tab of over $600,000 to fix the current unit, which was damaged after becoming tangled in a fisherman’s gear.
The outfall is a 599mm high-density polyethylene pipe which stretches approximately two kilometres offshore from the French Creek Pollution Control Centre. At the end of the pipe is a 78-metre long steel diffuser. This diffuser was damaged some time prior to a video inspection done in 2007.
which showed that a commercial fishing net was wrapped around the end of the diffuser and the connection between the diffuser and outfall flange had been damaged. In addition, it appeared that some of the diffuser ports appeared to be plugged.
The RDN was ordered by the Ministry of Environment to repair the damage in 2010. A study of exactly what was needed to comply with the order was undertaken in 2011 and the job was tendered over July and August of this year.
Two bids were received, one from Can-Dive Construction Ltd. for $645,900 and another from Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd. for $673,500.
In a report tabled at Tuesday night’s RDN board meeting, wastewater services manager Sean De Pol noted the Can-Dive bid included a list of variations to the proposal which allowed a reduction of $105,600 in the price.
As a result, the consultant, Opus Dayton Knight, recommended the value of the contract be reduced to $540,300, a proposal supported by De Pol.
The construction contract is just part of the bid however. It also includes $35,985 for design services, which has been completed, along with $17,470 for construction services and a $10,500 project contingency fund.
Although the total budget for the outfall diffuser project is $600,000, De Pol noted the $10,500 contingency fund is sufficient to cover the difference.
Commenting on the report, Bowser-Deep Bay director Bill Veenhof questioned whether the outfall was marked on navigational charts, and if not, whether it could be added.
As well, Coombs-Hillers director Julian Fell suggested the outfall be designed to be smooth, so fishing nets would simply slide off it, rather than become entangled.
General manager Paul Thorkelson replied that the incident was highly unusual and there were no plans to modify the design.
“This is rather unusual,” he said. You generally don’t see this type of damage at the end of outfalls.”
The board agreed to award the contract to Can-Dive.