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Metro to conduct seismic assessment of waste water system
Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun April 15, 2014
Metro Vancouver plans to conduct a seismic assessment of its entire waste water system, including its pipes and pump systems, to identify ‘weak spots’ ahead of a potential earthquake.
The study, expected to take roughly two years, follows on the heels of a major overhaul of the region’s water system and upgrades of its sewage treatment plants, including the $500-million expansion of Annacis Island.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart questioned whether any of the sewage would make it to the plant if the pipes were broken in an earthquake.
But Simon So, Metro’s general manager of planning, said sewage treatment plants — along with marine crossings — are a higher priority for “post-disaster” upgrades because they would take longer to fix than broken pipes.
High Level waterfall taps turned off for good
Edmonton Journal April 15, 2014
EDMONTON - The High Level Great Divide Waterfall has dried up after city council decided Tuesday to pull the plug on the former Edmonton landmark.
Councillors voted without debate to take back the remaining $735,000 set aside last year to repair the High Level Bridge attraction, which hasn’t run since 2009.
The waterfall, opened in 1980 to mark Alberta’s 75th anniversary, was closed due to environmental concerns about pouring chlorinated water into the river.
It operated four or five times a year on warm long weekends and special events, such as the sourdough raft race.
But a recent report estimated installing pumps to use untreated water and replacing the corroded pipes would cost up to $2.6 million.
Only Coun. Amarjeet Sohi and Coun. Ben Henderson, who has argued the city should wait to see if a fundraising group comes forward, voted to keep the repair money in place.
Artist Peter Lewis, who donated the piece to the city, said last week he opposed using public funds for the waterfall.
Frozen pipes plague Foon Hai: Exchange restaurant closed for weeks
Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press April 11, 2014
A frozen water pipe has closed the doors of Foon Hai -- a longtime Chinese restaurant in the Exchange District -- for more than a month.
"We've had no water since March 3," Dare said this week of the William Avenue restaurant.
THE RISE AND FALL OF CITY'S WATER WOES
Improvement seen from flood mitigation
Francis Campbell, Truro Bureau, The Chronicle Herald April 9, 2014
Heavy rainfall didn’t result in any major Truro-area flooding this week.
Credit the town’s aggressive flood mitigation work.
“I don’t know if, in this instance, it was, but I think there were two or three times between last fall and now that there could have been worse flooding if it wasn’t for the work that was done,” said Andrew MacKinnon, the town’s public works director. “I don’t think the water was quite as full in the rivers today as it was on those two or three other occasions, but it was enough to flood Park Street.”
The often-flooded Park Street, between Truro and Bible Hill, was closed Wednesday, and it wasn’t known when it might reopen.
“How much money do you want to spend?” MacKinnon said of the chronic Park Street problem. “You could build a structure over it or raise the road. The study that we are doing should have some real concrete solutions by November or December.”
Flooding in downtown Sydney keeps customers at home
Erin Pottie, Cape Breton Bureau April 9, 2014
SYDNEY — “Alma’s Family Salon, Tanning and Esthetics. … Sure, for when?”
The phone didn’t stop ringing at Alma Head’s salon Wednesday as clients rescheduled appointments due to heavy flooding outside the Sydney business.
To get to Alma’s, customers were forced to scale two or three snowbanks on Morrison Street and wade through about half a metre of water.
“Anybody who knows me knows I get here through the worst snowstorms,” said Head.
“This is worse than a snowstorm.”
In some instances, clients saw a pool of water on the closed street and turned around.
“They can’t even drive down. And you can’t walk unless you have hip waders on.”
Head’s son made the drive through flooded Townsend Street in order to get her to work.
“You could see the smoke coming up off the top of the car,” she said.
At least 50 millimetres of rain fell in Sydney from Tuesday afternoon to midnight, while Baddeck received close to 70 millimetres.
“It’s pretty typical spring-like weather, even though it’s a little bit late this year,” said Tracey Talbot, an Environment Canada meteorologist.
Talbot said that when heavy rains combine with accumulated snow and frozen ground, overland flooding can result.
Environment Canada reported that Sydney received 50 per cent more precipitation in March than what’s considered normal.
“It’s amazing, the water,” said Sheri Trask, who braved the flood to make her salon appointment.
Trask parked on nearby Brookland Street and started making her way toward Alma’s when a stranger offered her a lift.
“He drove up and picked me up,” said Trask, her hair full of reddish dye. “Then I scaled over the last snowbank and I got here.”
Head said flooding outside the salon is a common occurrence due to overflowing of nearby Wash Brook.
“They fixed it probably about four years ago, but we’ve been flooding,” said Head.
“When it stops raining, normally the water goes down very quickly. But it’s not this time.”
John Phalen, public works manager for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said staff worked to clear catch basins in preparation for Tuesday’s rain. However, Wash Brook backed up due to rain combined with melting snow and high tide.
“With just the multitude of water and snow melt, we just can’t handle that type of event. There have been improvements made, but we still have a lot of water that has to find its way to the harbour.”
Phalen said the municipality’s old drainage system that connects sewer and sanitary lines became overwhelmed.
He said he expected most of the flooding to subside by Thursday morning.
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