The Resort Municipality of Whistler has repaired a significant sewer line rupture this week that affected its Spruce Grove pumping station and saw sewage to leak into Fitzsimmons Creek.
Officials with the communications department said the rupture was discovered on Sunday (Sept. 30) after a complaint from the public about a sewage smell adjacent to Fitzsimmons Walk. The repairs to the sewer line were completed Tuesday morning (Oct. 2) at 5:30 a.m. and officials said the cause has been determined to be a failure of a cast-iron elbow fitting.
However staff said the reason the elbow fitting failed is still unknown.
The rupture was to a forcemain, which is the pressure pipe that comes out of the Spruce Grove pump station and pumps wastewater uphill to the Village where it enters the trunk sewer. The Spruce Grove pump station, said officials, conveys all the wastewater flows from the area extending from around Village Gate Boulevard northward to Emerald.
Sewage leaked into Fitzsimmons Creek as a result of the rupture and the municipality is in contact with the Ministry of Environment and Vancouver Coastal Health.
"No public health implications or threats to drinking water will result from this," stated an email from the RMOW.
However, officials as of press time were unable to provide any further details as to the amount of sewage that entered the creek.
Equipment was brought in from Vancouver and Squamish to bypass the pumping station. Septic pump trucks shuttled wastewater beyond the pump station to the gravity system along Highway 99 in the Village/Brio area. Other trucks in Nicklaus North shuttled wastewater away from that catchment area to the Rainbow Drive pumping station.
As of press time there were no indications as to the cost of bringing in the extra equipment and manpower.
A significant volume of wastewater goes through the Spruce Grove station. Once pump trucks bypassed it completely, crews were able to initiate repairs.
Officials said the area around the sewage pipe affected is a few square metres at the surface and an unidentified area below ground level.
The area was excavated as part of the repairs and the contaminated soil taken to the municipal waste transfer station where it will likely be used in the compost system.
"There was no need to shut off any municipal water services," said officials in an email to The Question. "Residents of Spruce Grove and to a lesser degree Alpine and Nicklaus North may have noticed the increased activity in their neighbourhoods due to the presence of pumping trucks.
"The RMOW apologizes for the inconvenience and hopes to have repairs completed by early tomorrow morning."