City Prepares for Sewer Line Replacement in Morrison Creek

July 31, 2014

The City of Courtenay is taking a second shot at a sewer pipe replacement originally planned for last year.

The aging pipe runs underneath a sensitive fish habitat in Morrison Creek, near First Street in Courtenay. The project had to be put on hold in August 2013 after heavy rain resulted in high and early returns of pink salmon in the creek.

Work will take place from August 1 to 29, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday to Saturday, weather permitting.

Lesley Hatch, the City of Courtenay’s senior manager of engineering, said addressing environmental concerns is a top priority. “We’re working very closely with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, our contractor, and consultants on this project, and following the advice of a registered professional biologist,” said Hatch.

“Morrison Creek is a sensitive ecosystem that is home to a protected Lamprey. It also supports other aquatic species such as salmon and trout, so we need to ensure we’re doing everything possible to protect it while we perform this necessary work.”

Work crews will replace the existing in-stream concrete pipe with a new flexible plastic pipe. They will also repair a storm culvert on First Street. The work will result in intermittent single lane closures on First Street near Willemar Avenue. Traffic control personnel will be on hand to assist all road users, including cyclists. Commuters are asked to please obey posted signs for the safety of road users and work crews.

The work window is being guided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to ensure minimal disruption to the fish habitat. A registered professional biologist will be monitoring work done at the site.

The City may also need to extend the work hours for one day in the first week of August to perform bypass pumping on the sewage line.

As the sewage line being replaced needs to keep functioning throughout the project, a generator will be required to bypass the line and keep it flowing, possibly overnight.

This will unfortunately result in some low-level noise, but crews will use the quietest generator possible to minimize the disruption to the surrounding neighbourhood.

The City regrets any inconvenience caused by this project. For further information, please contact Matt Sanderson, AScT  or Bob Hudson at McElhanney Consulting at 250-338-5495 or the Engineering Division at 250-334-4441, or email