Due to limited funding, the City carefully considers timing to invest in new infrastructure. During times of rapid growth, which has continued during the pandemic, the challenge is to stay ahead of service demand in all areas of the community. Projects such as those listed above were higher priority projects given that they were needed to meet the growth needs of large areas (including this area). The City, developers and engineering consultants have been aware that the sewer system along Highway 19A is too small to accommodate the full build-out of the community from Ken Forde boat ramp south. We have been monitoring the system to schedule upgrades when necessary – and until now, monitoring has not indicated an immediate need to proceed with upgrades for this area.
Upgrades were initially scheduled in the City’s budget for design work in 2019 and construction in 2021. This work was postponed based on the need to complete higher priority upgrades. While developers with activity underway in this area were recently informed that we weren’t in a position to approve new subdivisions until sewer upgrades had been completed, inspections have now confirmed that we do not have capacity to serve subdivisions that had already been approved. Those inspections show the system is now at maximum capacity, and we risk overloading the system during peak times. This confirms it’s time to do this upgrade work. This is an example of how challenging it can be to schedule upgrades to meet the demand of the local building boom. We are all eager to find a quick, affordable and safe solution to increase the size of those pipes. In the short-term, this will likely require increasing the pipe size at specific points where there are bottlenecks. In the long-term, this will mean an upgrade for longer stretches of Highway 19A.