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Delta throwback: A stink over new sewers

The city went through several attempts to pass a sewer bylaw
failed ladner sewer bylaw 1960
The original scheme would have provided a trunk sewer system to cover the Ladner area and dump sewage into the Fraser River.

It was marked a big change for Ladner but it took a few attempts to get it built.

City council in 1960 planned for the new Ladner Trunk sewer scheme that would see a modern sewer system installed within residential, including new subdivisions, and commercial areas at the time.

The plan was controversial and would go through a few defeats and changes before a system was constructed.

The Boundary Bay Health Unit expressed support for the scheme.

Dr. G.H Bonham told council in 1960 that the safe disposal of such wastes was of great importance but the increasing population density of Delta made the usual methods of sewage discharge more hazardous.

He noted that the methods of septic tank and sub-surface irrigation were no longer suitable for the density of Ladner Village.

“Sewers installed now will prevent the creation of serious health hazards for Ladner residents," Bonham explained.

One sewer bylaw, however, failed to receive the required 60 per cent of eligible voters in the area affected by the scheme.

It was reported that the defeat of the bylaw was attributed by objections raised by the Ladner and District Ratepayers’ Association to dumping raw sewage into the Fraser River off Kirkland Island.

The association proposed that treatment plants be used instead of piping out into the river.

City councillor James Broadhead agreed, demanding new engineers be obtained to devise a new sewer system.

Saying he had no use for dumping raw sewage into the river, Broadhead argued the proposed bylaw was badly presented by council.

Council later that year agreed to present a revised bylaw to authorize the expenditure of $400,000 for a new sewer scheme that would be presented to ratepayers the following spring.

That plan would see a primary treatment plant at Ladner Reach in Port Guichon, rather than sewage being emptied into the main arm of the Fraser River.

That second attempt at a sewer bylaw in 1961, however, failed as well, prompting Reeve Clarence Taylor to say, “We can’t let Ladner die.”

A third bylaw would be presented to council in 1962 and later that year almost 70 per cent of voters approved it.

Fast forward to today and the City of Delta has been undertaking a sanitary sewer and watermain replacement project for the Ladner Village area.

According to the city, the existing sanitary trunk main and watermain along the corridor have been in service for approximately 60 years and are in need of an upgrade to accommodate planned higher density in the area.