Town of Lake Cowichan stockpiles $500K clean fill

The Town of Lake Cowichan is looking at dealing with 6,000 truckloads of "clean fill" as it starts work on enlarging the community’s sewage treatment area.

Mayor Ross Forrest said that the excavation is necessary "because we’re getting close to capacity on our two existing [sewage treatment] cells and we got grant approval a couple of years ago for $1.35 million to do stage one [of a project], which we’re undertaking now, to do the third cell. The contract for phase one has been awarded to David Stocker Excavating Ltd. That means digging out and taking care of the sludge from the first two cells as well. Rather than transporting it away, however, it will be used as a primer for the new cell."

That will then leave Lake Cowichan with a lot of clean fill the town can use for other projects.

"We’re working on that now. We’ve got to deal with 56,000 cubic metres, which is a lot of fill," he said.

It would equal about 6,000 truck loads, according to a report from Chief Administrative Officer Joe Fernandez.

The value of the fill is estimated at $500,000 and the town would benefit from stockpiling it for a few years to help alleviate the cost of future capital projects, Fernandez pointed out.

Some ideas for its future use include drainage and increasing the elevation at Centennial Park even though sand would need to be added to the fill to make it suitable for that job, he said.

Other uses could be construction of additional campsites at Lakeview Park or adding fill in local parks that don’t have drainage problems.

It would also be necessary, Fernandez said, to ensure that local residents know about the high volume of truck traffic that would ensue once the project began. Council has also asked for a further report on uses for the fill.

Meanwhile, the town has also applied for funding for the second stage of the sewer upgrade.