Media Release

April 17, 2020

Work has begun on relocation of downtown Chatham sanitary pump station

Work has started on a $3.5 million project by the Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission to relocate a sanitary pump station to a site near the intersection of King Street West and Second Street.

The contract was awarded to Birnam Excavating Limited of Arkona in November 2019. The engineering design, contract administration and site inspection is being carried out by RC Spencer Associates Inc. of Chatham.

The existing pump station has been in operation since 1963 and is currently underground in the staging area in front of Station One of the Chatham-Kent Fire Services.

The current location creates operational and safety challenges for the CK PUC as access and egress of emergency vehicles from the fire station cannot be impeded. The existing station is also experiencing on-going maintenance issues due to its age.

It is being moved to the northeast corner of the intersection outside of the paved roadway. All work will be on the municipal boulevard and within the adjacent corner of the existing Chatham-Kent Police Services parking lot.

The project will be completed in two phases. Phase one is the pump station construction and phase two is the sewer construction on the roadway.

Phase one work has commenced. This involves constructing the new underground pump station. Birnam Excavating’s subcontractor Matcon Canada along with HCM/RWH Engineering has begun step one which involves constructing the underground shoring/support system for the new pump station.

 The shoring system, called a compression ring, is a fairly new technology being implemented for this project. It is the first time it is being used for a Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission project. It involves drilling large holes (caissons) in a circular pattern around the pump station and filling them with concrete. The caissons are 880mm (35 inches) in diameter and will be drilled to a depth of 14 meters (46 feet).

A drilling machine onsite drills through foam forms so that it creates a perfect circle. There are 36 caissons in a circular pattern around the proposed pump station that will act as the shoring system and keep water out during the construction so that the inside will be able to be excavated. The diameter of the excavation inside the compression ring will be 6 meters (20 feet).

This type of shoring/support system (compression ring) eliminates the requirement to drive sheet piles into the ground to establish a shoring/support system. Driving sheet piles in to the ground creates vibration that has the potential to damage near by buildings.

The technology being used removes the potential risk to neighbouring buildings by eliminating ground vibration. It also speeds up excavating by eliminating welding of steel piles as the excavation progresses.

It is anticipated that this construction work will be located outside of the paved roadway and there should be minimal to no impediment to traffic during the first phase of the project (March – August 2020).

Construction of the Pump Station is scheduled to be completed in August 2020 at which time work related to the reconstruction and redirection of sewers to this new station are then scheduled to commence.

This phase two work is scheduled to begin in August 2020 and will be within the roadway and temporary closures, lane diversions and on-street parking restrictions can be expected as sewer construction is executed. It is anticipated that the project will be completed on schedule by November of 2020.


For more information contact:

Rob Bernardi, P.Eng.
Director, Engineering & Compliance
Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
226-312-2023 x4336

Stephen Jahns, P.Eng.
Project Manager
RC Spencer Associates Inc.
Consulting Engineers

Media Contact:
Jim Blake
Communications Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624

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