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Infrastructure Integrity and Climate Change: Metro Vancouver Case Study


Brent Burton, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. Utility Analysis and Environmental Management Division Policy and Planning Department Metro Vancouver APEGGA Professional Development ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Infrastructure Integrity and Climate Change: Metro Vancouver Case Study

Infrastructure Integrity and Climate Change
Metro Vancouver Case Study
Brent Burton, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. Utility Analysis
and Environmental Management Division Policy and
Planning Department Metro Vancouver
APEGGA Professional Development
Sessions Infrastructure Integrity Climate
Change Impacts and Adaptation Shaw Conference
Centre, Edmonton, Alberta April 18, 2008
  • Background on Metro Vancouver
  • Existing role in water supply and wastewater
  • Adaptation and Metro Vancouver
  • Metro Vancouver sewerage case study
  • Next Steps

Metro Vancouver
  • Common name of several legal entities including
    Greater Vancouver Water District and Greater
    Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District
  • Partnership of 21 municipalities and one
    electoral area
  • Board comprises elected officials from member
  • Services a population exceeding two million
    (projected 2.7 million by 2027) and a land area
    of approx 280,000 ha

Role of Metro Vancouver
  • Delivery of utility services most effectively and
    efficiently provided on a regional basis
  • Protection and enhancement of quality of life in
    the region

Role in water supply
  • Supply water to most of region from three
    mountain reservoirs
  • Reservoirs are typically spilling about 9 months
    a year
  • High demand in summer (outdoor water use)
  • Largely supplied by gravity during winter

Role in wastewater
  • Maintain and operate major interceptor sewers
  • Maintain and operate 5 treatment plants

AAD (MLD) 98
AAD (MLD) 603
AAD (MLD) 11
AAD (MLD) 510
AAD (MLD) 78
Liquid waste planning
  • Policies and commitments identified in Liquid
    Waste Management Plan (approved by Province in
  • Climate change not specifically identified in
  • Currently undergoing regularly-scheduled 5-year
    review and update

Metros role and climate change adaptation
  • Mitigation activities (GHG reduction) already
    well established by late 90s via air quality
    role, but
  • Awareness of need for adaptation still developing
  • Adaptation issues first formally reviewed in an
    overview in 2000
  • Adaptation Strategies for Utility Planning
    (Environment Canada)
  • Identifies climate projections and briefly
    outlines potential impacts (rising sea levels,
    spring flooding, summer drought, etc.)

Metros role and climate change adaptation for
wastewater infrastructure
  • Focus on precipitation analysis for wastewater
    systems in 2002
  • Development of GVRD Precipitation Scenarios (KWL
  • Comprehensive analysis of historical
    precipitation and future projections,
  • Identifies patterns of increased rainfall
  • But likely yet no urgent need to upgrade the
    capacity of combined sewers, storm sewers and
    drainage systems.
  • But situation needs to be monitored and
    periodically re-assessed

2004 Increasing recognition of need for
adaptation in engineering practice
2005 Drinking Water Management Plan
  • A number of recent studies used to identify
    climate change impacts / adaptations
  • Some impacts / adaptations related to ensuring
    sufficient water stored for summer months and
    increased efforts at DSM
  • Climate change may move forward the date when
    storage increase required (i.e. dam raising,
    lower intakes and alpine lakes) by approximately
    10 years.

And then there was 2007
  • IPCC report released early in the year
  • GVRD Historical and Future Rainfall Analysis
    Update (Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium)
  • Generally affirms KWL conclusions
  • Identifies more evidence of statistically-signific
    ant trends of increased rainfall (especially
    short duration storms in spring)
  • Political Board requests update on adaptation

Engineers Canada and vulnerability assessments
  • Staff membership on Water Resources Expert
    Working Group and Stormwater / Wastewater Expert
    Working Group
  • Staff determined that wastewater vulnerability
    assessment needed most urgently
  • At staff request, Board approves partnership with
    Engineers Canada in study of wastewater
    infrastructure vulnerability

Initiating vulnerability assessment
  • Agreement developed between Metro Vancouver and
    Engineers Canada
  • Working with Engineers Canada, staff issued
    Request for Proposal focussing on Vancouver
    Sewerage Area
  • KWL Consulting awarded contract
  • Lead Andrew Boyland, P.Eng.
  • Associated Engineering
  • Treatment Sub-Consultant
  • Dean Shiskowski, Ph.D, P.Eng.

Local Geography of VSA
  • North Shore Mountains

Burrard Inlet
  • Iona Island WWTP
  • Fraser River
  • Strait of
  • Georgia

Quick Facts Vancouver Sewerage Area
  • Service Population 600,000
  • Service Area 13,000 ha
  • Predominantly serviced by combined sewers
  • Combined sewer overflows during wet weather
  • Approximately 40 serviced by separated sanitary
  • Wastewater drains to Iona Island Wastewater
    Treatment Plant
  • As well as City of Vancouver, VSA includes all of
    UBC and part of the cities of Burnaby and Richmond

Regional collection system
Climate Quick Facts Vancouver Sewerage Area
  • Located in a west-coast marine climate zone
  • Regional climate highly influenced by El Nino
    Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal
    Oscillation (additive or mitigating)
  • Generally subject to west to east weather
  • Winter climate dominated by repeated cyclonic
    storms (long duration precipitation of moderate
  • Rainfall
  • Annual rainfall is typically about 1,800 mm
  • One day maximum rainfall about 73.1 mm
  • Typically highly variable through region due to
  • Temperatures
  • January temperatures average about -0.6 to 5 deg
  • August temperatures average about 11 to 23 deg C.

Quick Facts on Liquid Waste Management Plan
  • Sewer separation is major long-term strategy
    outlined to address CSOs
  • Commitment to eliminate CSOs by 2050 with interim
    rates of sewer separation
  • Most regional sewers, once fully separated, would
    be transferred to City ownership
  • Iona upgrade to secondary by 2020
  • Iona to maintain 17 m3/s peak flow capacity

Infrastructure components considered upstream of
treatment plant
  • Wastewater Infrastructure and Collection System
  • Combined Sewer Trunks
  • Pump Stations Wet Wells
  • Force Mains
  • Siphons
  • Outfalls
  • Manholes
  • Flow Level Monitors
  • Grit Chambers
  • Flow Control Structures
  • Control Valves
  • Air Valves

Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Began operating in 1963
  • Primary treatment
  • Current plan is to upgrade to secondary by 2020
  • Discharges through a 7 km deep sea outfall to
    Strait of Georgia (90 m below sea level)
  • 2007 AAD 603 MLD

Infrastructure components considered at treatment
  • Process, hydraulic and supporting infrastructure
  • Screening
  • Influent pumping
  • Grit removal
  • Primary clarification
  • Sludge thickening
  • Sludge digestion
  • Sludge lagoons
  • Treatment liquid stream
  • Effluent disposal
  • On-site pipelines
  • Buildings, tankage and housed process equipment
  • Standby generators

Timelines and general climate factors
  • Focus on 2020 and 2050 (i.e. no 2080 scenario)
  • Climate modelling by OURANOS suggested that by
    2020 and, to a greater extent by 2050, we can
  • Increased rainfall, including more frequent and
    more intense rainfall events
  • Rises in the sea level
  • Increases in storm surge, floods and extreme gusts

Detail climate factors
  • 2050 Horizon
  • Intense Rain (24 hr 73mm) ? 17 increase
  • Annual Rain (1881mm) ? 14 increase
  • Sea Level 0.3 1.6m (2080 Horizon) increase
  • Storm Surge N/A, expected increase
  • Temperature 1.4 2.8c increase
  • Drought no change (20 days)
  • Wind N/A, expected increase

Climate factors
  • Snowfall decrease
  • Frost, Ice, Freeze Thaw decrease
  • Other Effects
  • Flooding Fraser River - decrease (?)
  • Ground Subsidence 2mm/yr
  • Data Gaps
  • Rainfall IDF curves, shorter durations
  • Wind, Storm Surge

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Key Vulnerabilities
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO)
  • Intense rain, annual rain
  • WWTP Flooding
  • Combined effects of storm surge, sea level rise
    and subsidence
  • Effluent Disposal outfall/jetty structure
  • Storm surge, wind/wave effects

Photo Corporation of Delta
Detail vulnerabilities
Policy Recommendations
  • Important to use this information in
  • Review and update of the Liquid Waste Management
    Plan (i.e. regional design standards /
    commitments related to climate change,
    reaffirming commitments to green infrastructure?)
  • Next phase of treatment upgrading (i.e. designing
    secondary treatment to accommodate sea level rise
    and storm surge)
  • Reaffirming timelines and commitments to sewer

Technical recommendations
  • Further study suggested to determine increase in
    sewer flows
  • Further study suggested to determine if
    additional sewer separation effort required to
    eliminate CSOs by 2050
  • Identify stand-by power requirements
  • Assess potential for WWTP flooding

Cross-cutting issues (?) for other communities
  • Combined Sewers may have built-in adaptive
  • Designed to overflow in controlled manner
  • Many built when sizing was empirical. (i.e. big
    enough for a person to walk through)
  • Mitigation of CSOs and reduction of risk
    consistent with sewer separation and can be
    consistent with adaptation (if new climate data
  • Climate data uncertainty
  • Regional models unable to account for local
    effects (wind speed direction, storm surge,
    extremely variable geography)
  • Expense/practicality limited the model runs to
    two initial conditions (same GHG scenario)

Cross-cutting issues (?)
  • Infrastructure vulnerability issues more
    cross-cutting than climate change factors?
  • i.e. climate change factors possibly only
    relevant to Vancouver (mild coastal effects), but
    the infrastructure deficit is more
  • Process highlights ongoing management actions
  • i.e. complete emergency response plan, review
    standby power availability
  • Design assumptions for very old infrastructure
    often not readily available
  • i.e. to determine basis of capacity

Next steps for Metro Staff
  • Report to Regional Engineers Advisory Committee
  • Consists of most senior engineer from each member
  • Discuss and finalize technical recommendations
  • Report to Waste Management Committee and Board
  • With recommendation for further actions and
    studies for this and other aspects of our
  • Major policy decisions () need Board approval

  • Metro Vancouver Sewerage Area Case Study