Light at the end of the tunnel for Vancouver water project
Category : Happy broadcast
A decade-long construction project to allow for the continued supply of safe, high-quality drinking water in Metro Vancouver is 99 per cent complete.
The Seymour and Capilano watersheds supply Metro Vancouver residents and businesses with 70 per cent of their drinking water.
Of the five major project components, only the twin tunnels and the energy recovery facility remain to be finished. Overall project completion is expected in early 2015.
Construction is complete on the Capilano pumping station, which is being maintained in operational readiness until completion of the twin tunnels that will deliver water to and from the filtration plant. Construction is also complete on the break head tank facility, the filtration plant and clearwells that store treated water.
The twin tunnels are 98 per cent complete. Tunnel filling is expected to commence in mid-November followed by flushing and commissioning from December through February.
Each of the twin tunnels will be 3.8 metres in diameter, 7.1 kilometres long and 160 to 640 metres below ground level. These massive tunnels, including the shafts, took six years to excavate, one year to install the permanent support and two years to line.
As the Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant is higher in elevation than the Capilano Reservoir, excess pressure will be generated when treated water is returned through the treated water tunnel. Using a new energy recovery facility and its turbine, energy will be harnessed from the excess pressure. This energy will be used to partially offset the power requirements.