Old Fort landslide prompts precautionary alert for city's sewage lagoons

The City of Fort St. John says it has issued an evacuation alert for part of the south sewage lagoons as a precautionary measure due to the Old Fort landslide.

The alert covers the southern section of the lagoons, which includes two lagoon cells the city says are empty and dormant. One cell has been decommissioned entirely, while the other is only used for emergency storage capacity, the city says.

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"City staff are working in conjunction with the Peace River Regional District Emergency Operations Centre, Ministry of Environment, and other agencies to monitor the situation and plan for any disruptions to the lagoons or discharge pipe," the city said in a news release.

"The one-month emergency capacity provides plenty of time to implement alternatives to manage the effluent discharge. All of our lagoons are actively monitored in real-time and our effluent is tested regularly and meets or exceeds all environmental discharge conditions."

No residential properties are affected by the alert. The alert has been issued because of the proximity of the evacuation order for Old Fort and nearby alerts for properties on the 240 and 265 Roads, and allows the city to respond if and when required.

At a meeting today, officials said LiDAR surveys continue to be taken of the Old Fort hillside where a landslide began on Sept. 30.

That data is being compared with surveys taken in 2005 and 2015 to determine the extent of the landslide and its impact on other cracks known to exist in the area.

Old Fort residents were ordered to evacuate their homes on Oct. 7 due to the spread of the landslide and instability of the hillside.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

Old Fort landslide, Oct. 9, 2018, showing proximity to Fort St. John and the city's south sewage lagoons, top right corner. - Darcy Shawchek
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