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Delta sewage plant construction noise due to 'egregious misunderstanding'

Construction firm promises no excess noise outside normal working hours
annacis island sewage treatment plant upgrades
The company installing a new pipe at the sewage treatment plant at Annacis Island says its goal is to be a good guest in the community and it intends to complete the remaining work without incident.

The construction firm building a large new pipe at the sewage treatment plant at Annacis Island has apologized for causing a flood of noise complaints last month.

“On behalf of the Annacis Outfall Project construction team, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies for the disruption caused as a result of noise generated from our site during the late hours of January 18th. I understand your offices were inundated with complaints from angry residents near the site that were subjected to several hours of pile driving noise that should not have occurred,” said Pomerleau Bessac General Partnership project director Glen Holloway in a letter to Delta council.

Delta residents complained on social media and called city hall angered about the use of a diesel hammer after 9 p.m.

The company immediately adjusted its schedule.

Holloway wrote, “There was an egregious misunderstanding of the noise variance terms whereby our site team assumed pile driving by means of diesel impact hammer would be acceptable like the vibro-driving method that had been employed previously.”

He noted they weren’t alerted about the mistake until the next day by a member of the project administration team that lives nearby and is part of the North Delta Community Corner Facebook group where a discussion about the incident took place.

They immediately issued an apology and said no further excess noise would occur outside working normal hours from that point forward.

Holloway also noted they have implemented a new procedure whereby noise control measures will be a prerequisite before starting any activity.

Work that could generate excess noise won’t be undertaken outside the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and at no time on Sunday.

In 2019, Metro Vancouver awarded a $184 million contract to Pomerleau Inc. and Bessac, a division of France-based Vinci Construction.

The Pomerleau Bessac General Partnership project includes building a new outfall pipeline for the treatment plant, part of Metro Vancouver's major overall upgrade project for the plant, known as the Stage 5 Expansion.

Wastewater from the plant is released into the Fraser River through an outfall pipe once it has been treated.

The regional district notes a new outfall location and diffuser will involve constructing a tunnel approximately one-kilometre long from the plant to the river.

The new outfall location and design will ensure that treated effluent is dispersed over a broad area underwater to maximize dilution and minimize the impact on the environment, Metro explains.

The regional district also notes that the new pipe is expected to meet the region’s growth needs for the next 100 years while ensuring greater seismic resilience and continuous, reliable and safe management of liquid waste.

Work is expected to be completed by 2023.