The Webber Lane waterway was designed to collect and channel rainwater and runoff from the surrounding area into its ponds and canals.
There are as well some buildings near the waterway that use drains to channel clean rainwater to the waterway. The system was designed to work mainly with water from those sources, ideally without the addition of significant amounts of metred water.
However, when water from runoff sources is not sufficient, the waterway is topped up with potable water.
Keeping the system topped up enables proper recirculation and reduces algae formation, says Kat Knowles from UBC Properties Trust. When Stage 2 or higher water restrictions are in place, the system is shut down to comply with regional regulations.
As residents in the area are aware, the waterway has been shut down since 2021 because the demand for top-up water was high, indicating problems with leaking. The focus of the repairs has been on waterproofing, particularly in the area around Mundell Pond, as that was determined as the source of the problem.
“We originally believed cracks in the water feature were the cause for increased potable water demand,” Knowles said.
However, once repairs were completed in November, testing revealed that top-up demand was still higher than anticipated. This has required a new investigation to determine the cause.
“We are currently working with consultants to review the mechanical pump equipment as well as the underground pipes leading to the waterway. This comprehensive work will inform the next steps so that when the water recommences flowing, there will be no further interruptions,” she said.
No word yet on how long the investigation will take, or when the repairs might be completed.
ROBYN STARKEY IS A WESBROOK PLACE RESIDENT AND A MEMBER OF THE CAMPUS RESIDENT NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL COMMITTEE.