Metro Vancouver’s waste water system relies on gravity, but some of the heavy lifting is done by facilities like the Lynn Pump Station. Celebrating 50 years of operation with a major upgrade, the pump station’s overhaul featured green themes of reuse.
Earthquake and Environmental Upgrades
“It was built in 1965,” explains senior project engineer Chris Squire. “So it had very old electrical equipment and it wasn’t meeting codes anymore. So we upgraded all the old electrical equipment. We had issues with the old wet well and the operations of the pumps. So, we also upgraded the wet well.”
“The entire structure below grade was reinforced,” adds Squire. “We put FRP fiberglass reinforced plastic was laid along the walls to strengthen the walls and the above grade structure was also reinforced.”
These seismic renovations, are necessary elements to contemporary pump house design. Green building techniques were another sign of modern times. Squires lists some of the eco-friendly steps they took.
Making Old New Again
“We reused all the old pumps in this station, our mechanics took them off site and rebuilt them. The old structure was retained also and we built an addition onto the building, so a lot of the old building was actually retained.”
About 80% of waste water comes from our homes, when we use toilets, sinks, showers, washing machines and do anything else that sends water into a drain or pipe. Chris Squire explains the path waste water takes to and from the pump station.
“The Lynn pump station serves essentially everyone to the east of us all the way to deep cove. What happens is all the sewage … arrives to us, enters our wet well and is pumped up the 3rd street hill about half way where from there it flows by gravity to the Lions Gate Waste Water Treatment Plant.”
What NOT to Flush!
As efficient as it is, our sewer system can’t handle everything we put down our pipes. Many products labeled as “flushable” may actually cause problems for your home and the region’s sewer system. Common culprits include baby wipes, personal hygiene wipes, cleaning cloths, mop cloths and mop pads. Please dispose of items like these in your garbage. If you would like to learn more about the issue of ‘flushable’ products impacting our waste water treatment infrastructure, please visit the Metro Vancouver web page What Not to Flush for more information.
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