Sewage, water issues hinder business 

Highway 99 upgrade work may have been a factor in damage to Squamish sewage, water pipes

click to enlarge PIPE BOMB - There's no water or sewage service to the proposed Waterfront Landing site as DOS weighs options for funding pipe repairs.
  • PIPE BOMB - There's no water or sewage service to the proposed Waterfront Landing site as DOS weighs options for funding pipe repairs.

A Squamish businessman is finally getting some help from the district in re-locating his operations.

Dave McRae told council that he would have to close up his company, Triack Resources, if a new location could not be found for the operation, which recycles organic and non-organic industrial waste on the former Interfor sawmill site in Squamish.

"I am out of business," McRae told Squamish council.

He wants to move the Triack operations to another site and has been trying to find an appropriate spot for at least a decade. He tried without success to relocate the operation to a plot of land above Quest University and another industrial site near Brennan Park.

His company is operating illegally at the current location, according to the District of Squamish (DOS). Complicating the situation is the fact that the water and sewer service to the site has been shut off after two sewage leaks.

Council also directed staff to find out how the pipes were damaged and who is responsible for paying for the repairs.

Waterfront Landing was slated for development on the plot of land just off Highway 99. Pridham Development bought the former mill site and proposed a controversial vision that included condominium towers, waterfront homes, a marina, a lagoon and parkland.

A mortgage company, Sprott Resource Lending Corp (SRLC), foreclosed on the land and now controls it, according to the DOS.

The DOS completed emergency repairs to fix the sewer line serving the property after sewage leaked onto the neighbouring Shell gas station property. From that work it was determined there is pipe damage or a blockage somewhere else along the line.

In addition to the sewage concern, chlorinated water was leaking into the Mamquam Blind Channel. Water and sewer services to the site were shut off in November.

According to the DOS, when the SRLC was informed of the leaking utility pipes on the property and that it was the responsibility of the landowner to repair the pipes, the company indicated it had no interest in funding the repairs.

"As the party that has the financial interest in the site they [SRLC] have indicated in writing to the District that they have no interest in spending money to repair the current sewer and water issues," DOS staff concluded in a report on the issue.

According to the staff report, the damage to the pipes may have occured during Highway 99 upgrade work between 2008 and 2010.

McRae said he was happy with the council decision and noted that he has a meeting set with the DOS economic sustainability coordinator to discuss where Triack could potentially move to continue operating.

To date, the DOS has invested more than $10,000 into investigations and repairs associated with the utility lines connected to the privately owned former mill lands. Squamish Fire Rescue also has concerns about the current status of the land because there is no fire suppression capacity on the site. Large piles of wood, rock and concrete waste are spread throughout the property.

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