(From left to right) Councillor Duane Post, councillor Susan Spaeti, MLA Laurie Throness, councillor Kerstin Schwitchenberg, minister Mike Farnworth and mayor Sylvia Pranger cut the ceremonial ribbon on the Hammersley Pump Station. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Kent cuts ribbon on Hammersley Pump Station

The new pumps replace the 50-year-old drainage system from before

The District of Kent’s new pump station in the Hammersley Prairie has finally had its grand opening, even though it’s been operational since May of this year.

At the Hammersley Pump Station on Friday, Dec. 6, Kent mayor Sylvia Pranger welcomed dignitaries and residents to the unveiling of the long-awaited drainage system.

“As a rural community, we don’t have a tax base to fund projects of this capacity by ourselves,” she said. “So we are very grateful when we are awarded the necessary funding to complete projects like this.”

The Hammersley Pump Station has been long in the making, with the $4.17 million in grant money from the provincial government announced back in 2017. Construction began in the summer of 2018, and the pump was finished and operating in time for the 2019 freshet.

RELATED: Flood pumps part of local flood mitigation tactics

The pump station protects 160 farms, about 200 residential properties and two federal correctional facilities; it’s the sole drainage option for the Mountain Slough.

The new pump station is able to move more than twice as much water as the old one, which had been in place for about 50 years. Instead of a centrifugal pump, which councillor Duane Post described as a “meat grinder,” the new screw pumps are able to move both water and fish safely through the station, while maintaining water levels between 10.5 and 10.8 metres above sea level.

“This is a great breeding ground for endangered species: the Oregon spotted frog, the Oregon forest snail, the Salish sucker,” Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness said about Hammersley Prairie. “This pump, as we have learned, is easier on fish and so it’s going to help preserve endangered species and maybe ease the conflict a little bit that exists here on ground zero.”

Drainage and environmental protection have long been contentious topics in the District of Kent, as federal and provincial legislation around endangered species can sometimes alter or delay ditching efforts by the district.

RELATED: Ditch drainage uprising in Kent

“The District of Kent was incorporated … for the reason of being able to borrow money so they could get drainage work done,” Post said. “It’s been something that we’ve always been working on for 125 years, and more than likely well into the future.”

Although the pump station had a budget of $4.17 million through the provincial grant, the project actually came in $600,000 under budget. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced at the pump opening that the leftover funds would stay in the District of Kent for drainage.

“That’s going to help drainage and fish habitat as well,” Farnworth said.

The pump station “adds significant capacity in its ability to move water and provide flood protection,” he said. “This is just one piece in a larger puzzle.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Inside the Hammersley Pump Station. Generators turn the two large screw pumps, visible through the windows at the edge of the building. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

DOK seeks help stopping plant thieves

Suspicious behaviour should be reported to local RCMP

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Cubs rescued, hunter fined after sow shot in Skagit Valley

Officers opt for fines, as hefty punishment could prevent hunter cooperation in future

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read