Upgrades underway at the Sunnyside Reservoir, adjacent to Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, raised concerns among some residents Tuesday (Oct. 20), however, stewards of the park say everything went off without a hitch. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Upgrades underway at the Sunnyside Reservoir, adjacent to Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, raised concerns among some residents Tuesday (Oct. 20), however, stewards of the park say everything went off without a hitch. (Tracy Holmes photo)

‘No issue’ with South Surrey reservoir drainage, despite trail user concerns: urban forest steward

Forest visitor taken aback by ‘unprecedented flooding’ of trails

Draining of the Sunnyside Reservoir raised erosion concerns for some this week, when water gushed from an outfall on the South Surrey facility’s west side as part of an ongoing upgrade project.

“They’re flooding all the pedestrian trails in the Sunnyside forest, downstream from the reservoir,” White Rock resident Mark Kroeker told Peace Arch News Tuesday (Oct. 20).

“Whether that’s a good reason to be dumping the water, certainly, eroding the trails won’t be good. This is unprecedented.”

However, the head of a group that stewards the neighbouring forest assured Friday (Oct. 23) that everything went as planned – with water flowing into a “directed stream bed” that ultimately leads to the headwaters of Elgin Creek – and caused no damage.

“There was no issue. We were there, we were monitoring,” Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society president Ron Meadley told PAN.

“I was working with the men from Metro Van and they were way on top of the whole issue, recognized the concern that they can’t just pour water ad infinitum in terms of quantity.”

READ MORE: Sunnyside Acres’ ‘outdoor laboratory’ overlooked

Metro Vancouver has been working on the upgrade – a $12.9 million project – since last fall. Described as “planned work to maintain and enhance the regional water system,” it includes structural seismic upgrades, construction of an underground valve chamber to regulate water flow in area mains, and improvements to site access, drainage and security.

The process of draining the reservoir – of approximately 4.7 million litres – to facilitate upcoming work began Oct. 15, Metro’s director of engineering and water construction for water services, Goran Oljaca, told PAN in an emailed statement.

While flow is regulated and monitored at all times, “based on community feedback on October 20, staff dialed back the flow to lower the water level near downstream trails,” Oljaca said.

Meadley emphasized that the ‘dialing back’ was not a reaction to an uncontrolled flow.

“The rate that they were doing it, there was no cutback,” he explained. “Based on our concern, they started slow and increased to the point where everything was still under control.

“I didn’t go there and say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, it’s way too high, cut it back.’”

Meadley noted that, upgrades aside, draining and flushing of the reservoir is something that’s done every five years.

He acknowledged that those unfamiliar with the process who come across the flushing could be left “with an impression which is somewhat off-the-mark.”

Oljaca said drainage is anticipated to be finished “within the next several days,” and the project as a whole is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

Following the construction work, the City of Surrey is to begin site restoration, he added, citing tree replanting and community amenities including pickleball courts, a bike park and trail features. According to a project overview at metrovancouver.org, the new courts are to be added to the roof of the reservoir.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

EnvironmentMetro VancouverSurreyWater

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

Just Posted

Lisa Batstone’s appeal of her conviction and sentence for the killing of her eight-year-old daughter is set for Jan. 12, 2021. (File photos)
South Surrey mother’s murder-appeal date set

Lisa Batstone is appealing her conviction and sentence in death of eight-year-old daughter

A home on the corner of at the corner of 63B Avenue and 165A Street boasts a display of thousands of lights that bring in people throughout the city to check it out. The family also collects donations for BC Children's Hospital. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot designed by Xenex Disinfection Services. (Contributed photo)
Germ-killing robot on the job at White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital

Goal to match $100,000 donation met, say PAHF officials

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

The westbound lanes of Highway 1 between Clearbrook and McCallum roads were closed to traffic Wednesday morning after a fatal collision involving a pedestrian.
Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle on Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Collision takes place early Wednesday morning between Clearbrook and McCallum roads

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

FILE – A near empty waterfront train platform is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Monday, April 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
TransLink disables some services for second day due to ‘suspicious network activity’

Customers cannot use credit card or debit card at fare gates or Compass card vending machines

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:14 a.m.
Westbound Highway 1 lanes in Abbotsford closed as crews investigate serious crash

Crash occurred between McCallum and Riverside roads at around 4 a.m., next update at 8 a.m.

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Most Read