Residents in Wesbrook Place living near Webber Lane are relieved to see evidence that repairs on the Webber Lane Waterway have begun.
The water feature, which runs along Webber Lane from Birney Avenue to Nobel Park, has been plagued with problems since early 2021. For much of that time it has been saturated with weeds and algae.
UBC Properties Trust (UBCPT) is currently responsible for the waterway, and according to its website, the feature is designed to channel primarily rainwater with added treated water to supplement the flow.
However, a leak somewhere caused the shutdown of the supplementary water system. That meant standing water rather than flowing water, which led to the issues with algae and weeds.
Lower water levels have meant a decrease in wildlife, particularly tree frogs, and some areas such as Mundell Pond continue to have little to no water at all.
UBCPT said in its June update that it had plans to reduce the populations of insects that might thrive in stagnant water. “We are scheduling to pump out the existing stale waterway from the channels and ponds, which will be pumped regularly until the warmer summer weather arrives,” the update read.
UBCPT told the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) through email that a biologist recommended postponing the work. The biologist, it said, did an on-site assessment and recommended postponing the project, based on environmental concerns and issues related to the B.C. Wildlife Act.
Delaying the project was intended to give time for tadpoles to mature and migrate to their natural habitat.
In mid-August, work began to remove rocks in the waterway and drain any remaining water. Prompt completion of the repairs will depend on continued dry weather.
No additional information was provided by UBCPT when asked about the delays.
UNA officials told The Campus Resident that UBCPT is initially responsible for the building of infrastructure and other features in the university neighbourhoods.
Once the UNA is confident that all problems and troubleshooting has been resolved and that the feature is in good working order, the asset is then formally transferred to the UNA for management.
ROBYN STARKEY IS A WESBROOK PLACE RESIDENT AND A MEMBER OF THE CAMPUS RESIDENT NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL COMMITTEE.